Coachella To Potentially Become A Blue Zone City

Tiani Jadulang

Around the world there are a handful of so-called Blue Zone cities.

Those are areas where the population is expected to be healthier and live longer than average, and the city of Coachella could soon earn that title. 

A study is underway to help determine how to make the City of Coachella a healthier place to live.

I spoke with officials on what this may look like for the city.

“Riverside County Public Health partnered with the blue zones in conjunction with the Board of Supervisors… and what we did was we looked for six communities throughout Riverside County to engage in that initial phase or the feasibility assessment towards blue zones transformation.” says Shunling Tsang, Deputy Public Health Officer, Riverside University Health.

Blue Zones is a study originally done by National Geographic, the study would conduct why there were certain places in the world where residents would live well into their 100’s.

The concept takes the 9 key aspects of the blue zone areas, and tries to embody those aspects into other communities around the world.

“Coachella or the City of Coachella was one of those six, six communities selected within Riverside County.” Tsang says.

The Blue Zone initiative has three phases. The first being a feasibility assessment, where the city of Coachella currently resides, this helps understand the readiness in the community to engage in the work. 

“Research shows where people work has a big influence on their health more so than their genetics… and so what blue zones does is it looks at our environment and where we live and how that impacts our health and how we can make healthy choices easy.” Tsang emphasizes. 

She adds the progress the city has made in recent years, makes them a great candidate in potentially becoming a Blue Zone city.

“We’re very impressed by the city of Coachella and the work that they’ve already done. You can look at their downtown revitalization area, their thoughts around, you know walkability, bikeability, safety for their community members, especially in regards to active living.”

Steven Hernandez, the Mayor for the City of Coachella is excited for this possible transformation.

“And so we’re excited about it, because it will help us to just educate our residents and then get us all as a community pushing in the same direction, which is how do we live longer.”

Mayor Hernandez says they’ll wait until the study is complete and hopes by next fall Coachella can can join city’s like Loma Linda in becoming a blue zone city.

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