Hermosa Beach on Tuesday became the first city in the nation to achieve what is known as the Blue Zones Community Policy designation, a major milestone for the community based well being initiative taking place in the three beach cities.
The community policy designation comes after the city spent the past two years passing multiple city policies including smoking bans in all outdoor public places and a bicycle master plan.
Hermosa Beach also became the first city in the country to adopt a "Living Streets Policy" that focuses on making city streets friendly for walkers, bikers, public transit and automobiles. The goal of the policy, according to Blue Zones, is to create more people-oriented public spaces and facilitate neighborhood activity.
"The Blue Zones project has provided us with a framework and resources to fast track the work we already found valuable," Hermosa Beach City Manager Tom Bakaly said in a release. "The groundwork we've laid should only make it easier for us to ensure that every project we embark upon considers not only the economic impacts but alo quality of life for both those who reside in and visit Hermosa Beach."
Among the other actions taken by the city was the creation of a community garden located at South Park which creates a space for residents to grow their own healthy food and also socialize with other neighbors.
"By passing city policies that make the Beach Cities environment a healthier place to live, the City of Hermosa Beach has paved the way for future improvements and contributed to residents' improved perception of their community," said Beach Cities Health District CEO Susan Burden.
According to the Blue Zones project, the new community policy designation brings Hermosa Beach one step closer to becoming a certified Blue Zones Community. Should Hermosa Beach become a certified Blue Zones Community, it would be the first in the country to do so.
Neighboring cities Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach are also close to achieving the Blue Zones Community Policy designation and are in their final stages of work to complete the designation, according to Blue Zones.