You knew the big announcement was coming, and it’s finally here! Over many months, communities across Iowa have been hard at work to show they’re ready to take the next step towards community-wide well-being improvement. Today, we are thrilled to announce the communities who were chosen to be the next Blue Zones Project™ demonstration sites! Congratulations to the following communities for this achievement:
- Cedar Rapids
- Iowa City
- Sioux City
These communities will work hand-in-hand with our group of experts to develop and implement a Blueprint for making permanent environmental, social, and policy changes that help nudge people towards healthier behaviors. Residents will be equipped with tools and resources to make positive changes in their own lives that can lead to greater well-being. Making progress in this direction is good for everyone. It means longer, healthier, happier lives for residents, and will ultimately lead to lower health-related costs, increased productivity, and increased economic viability for the whole community.
In Iowa, these are the last six communities with populations of 10,000 or more that will be selected as Blue Zones Project demonstration sites. Cedar Falls, Mason City, Spencer and Waterloo were as the first four Blue Zones Project demonstration sites of this size on chosen May 4, 2012. There were an additional 9 communities with fewer than 10,000 citizens chosen as demonstration sites on October 9, 2012. They are: Algona, Audubon, Decorah, Fairfield, Harlan, Osage, Red Oak, Spirit Lake and Woodbine.
Congrats once again to the leaders in these six communities! Each has shown they are ready to make substantial changes to improve the environments where they live, work and play. They’ve also agreed to share their experiences and successes with other communities in an effort to transform all of Iowa into a place where people live longer, healthier lives.