4 Iowa Communities Selected for Blue Zones Project

Congratulations to Cedar Falls, Mason City, Spencer and Waterloo for being selected as the first four Iowa communities for the Blue Zones Project® demonstration sites!

The selected communities will receive assistance from national experts to develop and implement a blueprint for making permanent environmental, social, and policy changes that transition people into healthier behaviors that can lead to longer, happier lives.

Governor Branstad said, “I’m extremely proud of the communities selected to become demonstration sites. The leaders in these communities have shown they are ready to make substantial changes to improve the environments where they live, work and play. Communities will 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.”

The Blue Zones Project is based on Blue Zones® principles developed by Buettner and is the centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016 as measured by the Gallup- Healthways Well-Being Index®. Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better lives by taking a systematic, environmental approach to well-being, which focuses on optimizing policy, social networks, and the built environments where we spend our time.

Six additional Iowa communities with populations above 10,000 will be selected as Blue Zones Project demonstration sites in the next year, for a total of 10 demonstration sites. These communities will share their learnings with other communities in Iowa that are employing Blue Zones principles.

“Through the Blue Zones Project, tools that can facilitate the journey for any community to achieving higher well-being have been made available to Iowa communities and residents state-wide,” said Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner.

For more information on the Blue Zones Project, including details on how to become a certified Blue Zones Community, visit www.bluezonesproject.com.