WHAT IS A BRIGHT CITY?
A Bright City works to lessen the harm of neurotoxic chemicals in ways that are tailored for each community. Benefits to being a Bright City extend beyond reducing neurotoxic exposures. Being a Bright City elicits positive responses from city residents. It provides an opportunity to leverage national funding and set the stage for sustainable equitable change. And it provides a fresh opportunity for cities to ensure that all babies have equitable, just and healthy environments.
- Public Health. Increasing screening of blood lead levels in pregnant women and infants or bolstering policies to reduce exposures to mercury and PCBs in locally caught fish and shellfish.
- Air & Water Quality. Reducing emissions through no-idle policies, reducing lead, arsenic and perchlorate levels in drinking water or replacing lead service lines in water distribution systems.
- Built Environment, Housing & Facilities. Restricting the use of toxic pesticides on lawns, parks and pets, implementing pest management in public buildings and housing, replacing lead painted windows.
- Early Childhood Education. Helping child care facilities avoid products containing mercury, flame retardants, pesticides, phthalates, lead and arsenic; and setting performance measures to track reductions in exposures to these chemicals.
- Food. Testing soil in community gardens and playgrounds and remediating as needed; promoting breastfeeding; and increasing access to food grown without harmful pesticides.
How It Works
Steps to Transform into a Bright City for All Babies.
Bright Cities works collaboratively with cities and local nonprofit partners to develop the most effective strategies to lower exposures to harmful chemicals that cause developmental delays and provides resources to implement those strategies - especially for babies disproportionately impacted by structural injustice and environmental inequalities. The chemicals we work to reduce are arsenic, flame retardants, lead, mercury, organophosphate pesticides, combustion byproducts called PAHs, the banned industrial chemicals PCBs, plastic additives called phthalates, and a rocket fuel component and fertilizer contaminant called perchlorate.
We provide data-driven recommendations, technical and media support, peer-learning opportunities and funding to help your city successfully and pragmatically integrate strategies that reduce neurotoxic exposures into existing programs. Read more about what Bright Cities have done.
To become a Bright City, contact Bright Cities Program Director Kyra Naumoff Shields at email@example.com.
“Our children deserve to live in safe and vibrant communities that allow them to thrive. By partnering with Healthy Babies Bright Futures, we are ensuring that every child in Providence has the opportunity to realize their full potential.”
Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Providence RI
“As a city that focuses part of its strategic platform on the health and safety of every citizen, we recognize that Mississippi has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation. As we look to make radical change to address our concerns, we must recognize that our most precious resource is our children. We will do all that we can to protect them.”
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Jackson MS
“The link between health and sustainability is at the very core of Bright Cities. With one outstanding program, we were able to positively impact two of our City’s priorities: the health of our babies and a clean environment.”
Mayor Steve Benjamin, Columbia, SC
We loved getting veggies with the kids at the Mack Park Farmers Market this summer. My neighbors and I were impressed! I’m happy Mayor Driscoll (Salem, MA) supported this great program - providing free, organically-grown produce in a beautiful park really helps nurture our community!”
- Claudia Paraschiv, Salem, MA, resident and mother of a toddler and newborn
Sustainable Procurement Policies Roadmap
The Ecology Center and Safer States developed a roadmap to help develop sustainable procurement policies for your community. The roadmap consists of four steps that will lead to cleaner, safer environments.
Chemical-Free Turf Guidance
This guide provides all the information you need to create organic lawns safe for children, pets and the environment. But it requires thinking differently. Instead of reaching for a product, focus on building living soil, which will grow strong, healthy drought- and disease-resistant grass.
Social Media Toolkit
Our Bright Cities do amazing work — but sometimes, it’s challenging to share your accomplishments with the public. Here is everything you need to know about successfully promoting your work on social media channels.
Bright Cities Advisory Board
Former Minneapolis Mayor
Vice-Mayor, Tempe, Arizona
Dr. Richard Jackson
Former Director of the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health
USDN Strategic Collaboration Director