Singapore has become the newest and sixth member of the Blue Zone – an elite club of regions in the world where people live healthier and longer lives – according to Dan Buettner, a journalist and researcher who popularised the use of the term.
Regions in the Blue Zone have several traits in common that let them achieve longevity. The traits include moving regularly, depending on a plant-based diet, and living with purpose.
The original five Blue Zone regions are Okinawa in Japan, Sardina in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, Nicoya in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in California.
Unlike the original five regions, which developed organically through practices and traditions, and managed to flourish over the years, Singapore is a ‘manufactured city,’ described Buettner in the Netflix documentary, Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones.
According to the latest government data for 2022, life expectancy in Singapore stands at 80.7 years for men and 85.2 years for women. The researcher underlined government policies, such as transportation, housing, and hawker centres, to have come together to create a ‘Blue Zone 2.0’ in the Southeast Asian city-state.
More than 80% of Singapore’s population lives in high-rise public housing apartment blocks. These estates have been intentionally designed to encourage social interaction among residents. The Singapore Government also has in place a housing grant, which encourages couples buying resale apartments on the open market to allow them to live with or near their parents or children.