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.


Case Studies

Healthy Babies Initiative RFP | Due May 20

We invite concise proposals from US cities to apply for a $20,000 grant for projects that equitably reduce air pollution, lead, or other neurotoxic exposures that harm children’s brain development, have resilience co-benefits, and leverage bipartisan infrastructure law (BIL) funds when possible.

Case Studies

Quantifying Impact in Providence, RI: Bright Cities Case Study

In tandem with community-led and citywide initiatives, Providence staff were determined to lead by example in city-owned schools and facilities. They embarked on an internal audit to determine what actions the city could take to reduce pollution and foster healthy green spaces.


Connecting the Dots – Early Childhood Development, Climate, and Neurotoxins

The National League of Cities partnered with Bright Cities to convene local and state leaders for a conversation about strategies to equitably reduce exposures that harm the developing brain while providing climate adaptation co-benefits, and the impact on children’s ability to grow and thrive in their communities. 

Boulder, CO Residents Help Transition Neighborhood Spaces to Organic Turf Maintenance

City staff and partners implemented a pilot project that transitioned three neighborhoods to chemical-free turf maintenance, inherently making the community safer for its smallest residents.

Pine Bluff, AR Planted Trees and Turned City Land into Gardens to Support Babies’ Health

Pine Bluff staff implemented projects to support healthy brain development in children like planting trees, increasing access to organic produce, and reducing lead exposures.