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ShineLA: Transforming the way Angelenos feel, move, and connect in our city

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Cedars Sinai Medical Center


ShineLA is a ten-year research initiative linking the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic movements to a brighter future for Los Angeles. In collaboration with the City of Los Angeles Dept of Recreation and Parks, Mayor Garcetti’s office, and leading innovators in technology/design, this will be the largest population-based study of physical activity in the US. Through iterative evaluation, we will improve physical and mental health, as well as social connection across all populations in Los Angeles, for a sustained impact through 2028 and beyond.

Please describe the mission of your organization.

RCHE conducts research rooted in community outreach and engagement (COE) to address health disparities in underserved populations. Efforts focus on cancer screening and behavioral factors, such as physical activity. Initiatives are culturally inclusive, yet exportable, scalable, and sustainable.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
  • Stanford University
  • Arts Center
  • Discovery Cube
  • Garmin

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

RAP: Our most important partner, together we will increase the engagement of youth in physical activity and use of RAP facilities and programs. We are working with RAP staff at every level, including Mayor Garcetti’s office. Stanford University: Working with Dr. Abby King, Professor of Health Research/Policy to implement the ‘citizen science’ approach. Arts Center: Working with ArtCenter to develop a digital ecosystem that encompasses imagery and storytelling components, to disseminate messages in culturally inclusive and accessible way. Discovery Cube: ShineLA will develop educational activities to be featured in the Discovery Cube e.g. exhibit on the science of physical activity/ sport. Garmin: Working with Garmin technology to provide wearable fitness trackers to ShineLA participants.

What is the need you’re responding to?

Physical inactivity is one of the leading global risk factors for mortality. Physical activity participation can play a key role in the prevention of noncommunicable diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Research also points to associations between physical activity and delayed onset of dementia and improved mental health. Despite this extensive knowledge, participation rates are low, and physical inactivity a global pandemic. Globally, over one quarter of adults and approximately 80% of adolescents do not meet physical activity guidelines. The United States is not immune, with only approximately 25% of children and youth, and less than 40% of adults sufficiently active. Within California, many of these trends are the same. Furthermore, physical activity levels in California drop among underserved, girls, and minority populations, thus, to improve public health, we need to find ways to get people moving.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

While there is recognized need to increase physical activity, progress at the population level has been minimal. This lack of significant improvement can be attributed to two factors. First, we will only see effective and sustained change through community partnerships, multi-level, multi-sector interventions. Second, population-level changes will only be successful if they consider the ever-changing diverse landscape of cities such as LA and are inclusive of all race, ethnicity, and abilities. In advance of the LA 2028 Olympics, RCHE is leading a partnership to create healthy, active and engaged communities for all Angelenos, Shine LA. We have assembled a trans-disciplinary team with expertise in cancer surveillance, design/technology, civil/government stakeholders, and academic experts who look at how environmental factors influence health. We have in depth knowledge of how neighborhood parks influence physical activity and how community characteristics affect health disparities.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Through our health disparities lens, this initiative will fill an important gap in our knowledge base of the complex interplay between policy, neighborhood/community, family, and individual factors that influence physical activity. As such, the broader goal is to substantially increase the engagement of youth in physical activity and use of RAP facilities and programs and to evaluate the process in a scientifically rigorous manner so that what is accomplished in LA can serve as a model for other cities. Ultimately, Our goal is to transform the culture of LA. ShineLA envisions a city that embraces physical activity at all levels and celebrates all cultures as it embarks on this transformation.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Over the next ten years, our overarching objective is a city-wide increase in physical activity, across all populations in Los Angeles, with a focus on underserved communities. We will: (1) Work within what RAP currently offers; (2) Utilize a Citizen Science approach (e.g. block parties) to increase visibility of the parks to be viewed as a locus and neighborhood hub for communities. Progress will be measured with data capture from wearable devices, and newly developed culturally-tailored mobile applications. The app will serve as a conduit to integrating this large, multi-sectoral approach across LA. We will be assessing secondary outcomes (e.g. obesity, hypertension, resting heart rate), the impact on neighborhoods (e.g. safety, beautification), and the larger positive impact on youth as citizens of LA; (3) We will use validated measures for observing where and how people use park space to examine current trends in RAP park usage (e.g. number of people using parks, how they are using them, and where they are spending their time in parks). At the end of the ten-year initiative, we will also help the City of Los Angeles assess their key performance indicators: 1) Programs; 2) Sports promoted; 3) Participants; 4) Coaches/staff; 5) Funding; 6) Outcomes (Overall participation increase over the 2019 baseline, % of parents that consider their children have a better lifestyle (physical and mental) because of the YSP, % of children reporting increased interest in new sports).

Which of the play metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Youth sports participation
  • Easy access to a safe park
  • Open streets gatherings

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to CONNECT
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Communications support
  • Strategy assistance and implementation