Healthier communities start with kids

The small city of Hudson is nestled in Upstate New York and home to fewer than 7,000 people. The city was hit hard by deindustrialization in the late 20th century, facing economic decline as factories closed and industry jobs left.

But in recent years development has surged, with the opening of antique stores, restaurants and art galleries. The city has become a popular destination for tourists and second-home owners.

While Hudson is often celebrated as a story of revival, development has not benefited all of the community’s residents. For example, despite the presence of several high-end restaurants, there is still no grocery store. Rising costs have increased inequity, causing displacement for many families. Public funding is often directed toward maintaining Hudson as an attractive tourist destination versus addressing the needs of local youth and families.

Organizations in Hudson like Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood and Kite’s Nest have been working in partnership with many community organizations and individuals to improve conditions for youth and families.

Last year, Hudson was one of six communities across the country that were selected to participate in Raising Places, an effort to explore and spark ideas on how to create healthier communities that are vibrant places for kids to grow up. Greater Good Studio, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, designed and facilitated this work.

Supporting Families Where They Live

Where we live shapes how well and how long we live. To raise healthy kids, families need stability and support. Raising Places emphasized that what is good for kids is also good for communities as a whole – stable housing that is affordable and safe; robust public transportation that benefits residents of every age; public spaces that support play; and opportunities to participate in the local economy.

Read the full story at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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