One of the poorest and most densely populated neighborhoods, City Heights takes the title for the most ethnically diverse community in San Diego, too.

Like other EHC target communities, much of the housing in City Heights remains old and poorly maintained. Our work in City Heights began through our Healthy Kids Campaign, helping families get their children tested for lead poisoning, helping them eliminate lead hazards, and making their homes more energy efficient. This work opened opportunities to participate more fully in broad-based community planning.

In 2010, The California Endowment embarked on a new, 10-year strategic direction: Building Healthy Communities. It aims to support the development of communities where kids and youth are healthy, safe and ready to learn. It selected City Heights as one of 14 communities in California to participate in this initiative. We lead the Built Environment Team that also includes City Heights Community Development Corporation, Proyecto Casas Saludables, and the International Rescue Committee.

Through house meetings, surveys, and community meetings, the team identified heavy traffic on University and Fairmont Avenues as a major concern. Heavy-duty trucks and cars emit air pollution and frustrate walkability for families.