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Fort Worth Wants Residents to Live Longer

The Texas city is the largest municipality so far to sign onto the Blue Zones Project, an initiative for improving longevity. In a nutshell, Blue Zones wants to make healthy choices the easy ones.
June 30, 2015, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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David Wilson

Recently adopted in Fort Worth, the Blue Zones Project "aims to 'reverse-engineer longevity' into a community by promoting a number of principles gleaned from National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner's observations of healthy and long-lived communities around the globe."

Inspired by Buettner's findings from five places where people tend to live to age 100, Blue Zones encourages movement toward a "tipping point" where healthy becomes the default choice. Fort Worth "needs to get 111,000 people 15 and older to sign the personal pledge, 25 percent of schools, and enough employers to represent 85,000 employees."

Program coordinators emphasize that the project isn't about making people do anything. Instead, Blue Zones seeks healthy infrastructure improvements where possible, including changes to the built environment favoring walkability, healthy eating, and physical movement. 

In conjunction with this effort, Fort Worth "has introduced WalkFW, a pedestrian transportation plan, and a new bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee is working on improvements to a 2010 cycling plan. The city is also working on a complete streets program as well as considering a program that would let vendors take produce carts into food deserts."

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Published on Friday, June 26, 2015 in Next City
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