Bright Cities

Bright Cities

Little by little amounts to a lot. Cities can use our resources to build a brighter future for babies—one city at a time.

From 2016 to 2024, the Bright Cities program presented cities with funding to integrate neurotoxic exposure reductions into their sustainability, health, and resilience planning —which builds communities that are safe for babies’ brains. HBBF provided funding and technical support to projects in more than 40 U.S. cities, including nap mat replacements, pop up events, community gardens, pesticide-free turf maintenance, and more.

From those projects, we built a repository of resources, guides, and toolkits to support cities through selection and funding, implementation, and completion of projects that reduce neurotoxic exposures in the community, and make cities safer for residents of all ages.

Resources Library

Role of Cities

The Role of Cities

Cities have a critical role to play in reducing neurotoxic exposures for pregnant women and babies, and for the community at large.

Cities are able to implement change more quickly and decisively than state or national governments—making them vital partners in protecting babies’ developing brains.

We worked with cities to create exposure reduction programs that harmonized with their existing priorities, so that the work of protecting babies’ brains becomes part of day-to-day business.

All babies—regardless of their genetic code or their zip code—deserve to live in neighborhoods that are free from toxic chemicals. Together, we built cities that proactively ensure healthier babies and brighter futures.

Inequitable impact

The Inequitable Impact

Babies of color are disproportionately impacted, particularly by lead exposures in homes, and water and air pollution in their communities.

A review by the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that exposure to air pollutants increased risk of preterm birth by an average of 11.5%. Moreover, of the 10 reviewed studies which considered race in their analyses, 8 found that Black mothers were at an increased risk for preterm births.

The Bright Cities program committed to addressing the systemic racism of neurotoxic exposures, and intentionally directing funding and resources to improve the lives of babies of color and their families.

Bright Cities Testimonial: Salem, MA

How Salem MA Provided Thousands of Pounds of Organic Food to Local Families

Remote video URL

Bright Cities

Our tailored work in these cities has made an impact for more than 5,000 children

The Resources You Need