What is Cittaslow?
“We are looking for towns where people are still curious about times past, towns rich in theatres, squares, cafes, workshops, restaurants and spiritual places, towns with untouched landscapes and fascinating craftsmen, where people are still aware of the slow passing of the seasons, marked by genuine products, respecting tastes, health and spontaneous customs….”
Original Cittaslow Manifesto
In 1986, the concept of “slow food” was introduced in Italy. It was a reaction against the growing “fast foods” industry that was becoming widespread. SLOW FOOD encourages regions to identify and use local food and produce and allow time to enjoy eating with family and friends. Over 50 countries, including Australia now embrace this philosophy.
Four Italian mayors (Orvieto, Positano, Bra and Greve-in-Chianti) applied similar principles to their wider community and in 1999 “Cittaslow” began. They wanted to preserve the unique characteristics of each town and to provide a better quality of life for the residents. They wanted to share ideas that promoted an eco-friendly environment for all who visited, lived and worked in the district. They wanted all their citizens to have a chance to regain the basic relationships of “you and me, you and nature”. It’s about supporting local producers and celebrating regional history and traditions.
Cittaslow is available for small towns with a population of less than 50,000. Cittaslow is a community-managed system of continuous improvement with a sustainable outcome. It builds on the environment and local culture of a town. It focuses the decision-making process. The logo is an international sign for a town that strives for quality of life for its residents.
A Cittaslow is one that has developed a good working relationship between the Council, the businesses and the community – an essential combination.
Organisations and other entities that do not qualify for Cittaslow accreditation can become Cittaslow Supporters.
- Cittaslow Principles
* Encourage diversity not standardisation
* Support and encourage local culture and traditions
* Work for a more sustainable environment
* Support and encourage local produce and products
* Encourage healthy living especially through children and young people
* Work with the local community to build these values
* Develop a gradual process to achieve all the aspirations
Cittaslow means taking time out to think about what we
should be doing and how we should be doing it. Towns
that have become Cittaslows have become re-invigorated
because they have used the consultation time to develop new
ideas and projects for everyone in the community - including
youth projects, employment and business opportunities as
well as environmental and historical proposals.
Slow means considered, thought-through, leisurely - Festina Lente - hasten slowly.