This RivCo City May Actually Healthier Than Anywhere Else, CA Predicts

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RIVERSIDE, CA—A Riverside neighborhood flagged as a “blue zone” has been awarded a $1 million state grant to help residents develop programs ensuring they live longer, healthier lives.

According to the city, the county, and the state, Arlanza was the perfect spot for a blue zone community, one that has populations living measurably longer, happier lives with lower rates of chronic diseases and a higher-than-average quality of life. According to a study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans’ life expectancy averaged 77.5 years in 2022. However, more than 70,000 Americans will reach their 100th birthday this year. City officials say the Arlanza project will draw inspiration from the examples set by residents with high longevity.

“It’s community investment, but on a human scale, with a project that impacts issues critical to sustainability in Riverside,” City Councilman Jim Perry, who represents the Ward 6 district, said.

The California Volunteers program in the Governor’s Office helped fund the two-year effort in which five sub-neighborhoods in the greater Arlanza area will develop projects leading to a resident-driven community action plan. The projects will involve connectivity, nutrition, movement, and climate to increase health and sustainability and position the neighborhood for more grant funding.

The city worked with community partners Riverside Community Health Foundation and Healthy Leaders Thriving Cities/Love Riverside to secure competitive funding, all in the name of longevity and an overall healthy lifestyle.

Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson spoke on the new opportunity.

Dawson said, “Living longer and happier lives should be a goal for all residents.” “This is an opportunity for a new generation of Arlanza residents to enjoy a healthier community.”

Riverside has been involved in the greater Riverside County Blue Zones effort since the City Council voted to join it on Dec. 12. Officials said the potential value for the city includes modified behaviors, decreased instances of disease, medical cost savings, productivity savings, and increased regional economic performance.

Arlanza’s neighborhood has a storied military history and is one of the city’s most geographically diverse neighborhoods. The city’s website states, “It contains a mix of nearly every type of land used in Riverside. “Arlanza’s residential areas range from semi-rural home sites to high-density apartments, with much of the residential area comprised of medium-density single-family tract development.

Read online to learn more about Blue Zone neighborhoods.

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