Palm Springs, CA
A Blue Zone is a demographic and/or geographic region where people live measurably longer and healthier lives than the average population. These regions were first identified by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow, and his team after studying populations in different parts of the world.
The five original Blue Zones, as identified by Dan Buettner and his team, are: Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Nicoya, Costa Rica, Icaria, Greece, Loma Linda, California
The City of Palm Springs has announced that it will participate in Blue Zones Activate, an initiative focused on helping residents live better and longer. It is working with the Blue Zones team on a readiness and feasibility assessment as the first step to determine how to make Palm Springs a healthier place to live, work, grow up, and grow older.
“We are very excited to join this compelling initiative and help Palm Springs become a healthier and more desirable place to live,” said City of Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner. “The Blue Zones Activate Assessment will enable us to identify a range of issues that will help us align our current efforts with the proven Blue Zones best practices. It dovetails perfectly with our current ongoing healthy living and sustainable living efforts, including programs created by our departments of Parks and Recreation, Sustainability and Recycling, and Office of Neighborhoods. We are inspired to identify new ways that we can improve the quality of life of our residents and visitors.”
Blue Zones employs a proven solution in collaboration with communities to help people live better and longer. The Blue Zones approach focuses on the single largest determinant of health: the place we live. Instead of focusing on individual behavior change, Blue Zones helps communities make permanent and semi-permanent changes to policies, systems, streets, surroundings, and social networks so it’s easier for residents to eat wisely, move naturally, and connect more with others as they advance throughout their day. By improving the Life Radius®—the area close to home where most Americans spend 90% of their lives—Blue Zones transformations have been able to move the needle dramatically in improving overall population health and well-being. Participating communities have seen double-digit drops in obesity and smoking rates, economic investment in downtown corridors, grant funding awards to support policies and programs to improve health equity, and measurable savings in healthcare costs.
Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones and Co-founder of Blue Zones Project, said: “We’re thrilled to work with Palm Springs and commend the foresight of city leaders for investing in the well-being and quality of life for its residents. This investment will not only improve the quality of life for current residents, but will also impact future generations and the millions of visitors who come to the city every year.”
The Blue Zones team has already been working with City of Palm Springs leaders, organizations, and residents to learn more about the strengths, needs, and challenges that residents are facing today. After the assessment period, Blue Zones will work with the City to create a transformation plan that, once implemented, has the potential to drive widespread improvements in well-being, reductions in healthcare costs, and improve economic vitality in the region. For more information, visit https://www.bluezones.com/activate-palm-springs