Shape Up Somerville is a 15 year old strategy to build and sustain a healthier, more equitable community for everyone that lives in, works in, and visits the city. SUS works towards these goals through collaborating with partners, creating environmental change, and advocating for social justice. SUS began in 2002 as a CDC-funded research study led by Somerville community members and Tufts University, to prevent obesity in 1st-3rd graders through environmental change. Following the 3-year study, SUS was adopted by the City of Somerville and has since continued to evolve as a comprehensive approach to build and support community-wide health, health equity, and social justice for all.
Our mission includes:
‘Systems Change’: engage all sectors and levels of the community including local government, businesses, schools, non-profits, healthcare, grass-roots organizations, and individuals, to create policy change that promotes community-wide health and well-being.
“Collective Impact”: with SUS acting as the backbone support organization, work to bring community partners together in a structured manner to achieve social change through a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, and continuous communication.
Social Determinants of Health: focus on engaging at risk populations, including but not limited to: ethnic minorities, immigrants, low-income residents, and non-English speakers on a multitude of issues.
Increase Access to Healthy Food: Supporting Food Rescue System, Affordable Mobile Farmers’ Markets, School Gardens/Farm to School, Healthy Restaurant Program, School Food Service Improvements, Urban Agriculture Connections, Worksite Wellness, and Healthy Worksites.
Increase Access to Physical Activity Opportunities: Extension of the Community Path, Green Line Subway Extension, Structured Physical Activity throughout the School Day, Walkable and Bikeable Streets, Neighborways, and Worksite WellnessHealthy Worksites.
to see more information about the original study.