The Cities of Opportunity initiative operates on a core belief: where you live shouldn’t determine how healthy you are or how long you live.

The Cities of Opportunity’s portfolio of programs positions city leaders to assume their critical role as health leaders. Cities of Opportunity meets city leaders where they are, enabling them to address factors impacting health and racial equity, and empowering them with data to drive decision-making that directly addresses health disparities in their communities.

Cities of Opportunity builds city capacity to make progress on their most important health and equity issues while laying the foundation for long-term changes in policies, practices, systems and structures. This is rooted in the Capacities for Action, seven core capacities that drive city action across the interconnected factors that affect health, well-being, and life expectancy. ​

The Cities of Opportunity Capacities for Action

  • Race and Equity
  • Strategic Data Capacity
  • Comprehensive Policy Agendas
  • Effective Multi-Sector Partnerships
  • Increased and Diversified Funding
  • Authentic Community Engagement
  • Internal Alignment

Cities of Opportunity Programs

The Cities of Opportunity portfolio consists of five distinct programs. The Mayors’ Institute brings together mayors and teams for 12 months to focus on a specific community factor or condition—e.g., housing, jobs or transit—as it relates to root causes of health and racial inequity. The Action Cohort brings together city teams for a 15-month process focused on aligning resources to address the root causes of health and racial inequity. Learning Labs are a peer-led online discussion series open to all who are engaged in advancing health and racial equity locally. The Solutions Forum brings together local elected officials, municipal staff, subject-matter experts, federal agencies, and philanthropic innovators to highlight the transformative progress cities are making toward health and racial equity. The Policy and Systems Change Academy supports municipalities in their efforts to advance health and racial equity through climate resilience and mitigation work with the help of the Policy and Systems Change Compass.

Cities of Opportunity Mayors’
Cities of Opportunity Action
Cities of Opportunity Learning
Cities of Opportunity Solutions
Cities of Opportunity Policy and Systems Change Academy

The Cities of Opportunity initiative is made possible by the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.