City of Coachella Aims to Become a “Blue Zone City”
December 28, 2022
The City of Coachella is currently undergoing a feasibility study in partnership with Riverside University Health System and the Blue Zones Project to attempt to join 5 other communities in becoming a “blue zone.” Blue Zones, an organization dedicated to studying and promoting healthy living habits in order to help and encourage communities to live healthier and longer, has launched an in-depth study to determine how to make Coachella a healthier place to live.
Currently, only Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; and Loma Linda, California, are cities considered blue zones by the company. Dr. Shunling Tsang, deputy public health officer at Riverside University Health, stated Coachella was identified as a “good candidate” to become a blue zone because of the work it has already been doing to provide access to “healthy choices” for its residents, such as facilitating physical activity by incorporating walk and bike paths in its downtown area. In October, the city planted 288 trees and plants to help moderate temperatures and solar radiation for pedestrians and cyclists as part of its Urban Greening and Connectivity Project.
Blue Zones is conducting feasibility studies in other areas of Riverside County including Riverside, Banning, Mead Valley, and French Valley as well. Coachella is now the second city in the Coachella Valley to work with the company, following Palm Springs in 2021. Next steps in the study will include community outreach and education. The results of the study will include a timeline of recommendations from Blue Zones.