Frequently Asked Questions about Cittaslow
Isn’t this a backward step?
No, Cittaslow is about looking to the future. It does, however, put emphasis on considering the past and understanding traditions and the unique characteristics of the town.
We don’t want to be known as slow!
‘Slow’ is about “taking time” to consider solutions, “allowing time” to enjoy the unique features of the town, “sharing time” with family and friends in a ‘convivial’ atmosphere and “spending time” discussing future plans.
Why did Goolwa become a Cittaslow?
- Goolwa has a distinctive heritage with the Ngarrindjeri, the river trade (Randell and Cadell) and historic occasions (Flinders-Baudin encounter; Sturt expeditions, first railway, first regatta yacht club).
- It has a unique environment (mouth of the Murray, part of the Lower Lakes and Coorong region, Hindmarsh Island, nursery for whales).
- Goolwa hosts special events (SA Wooden Boat Festival, Air Spectacular, Boating Extravaganza, Goolwa Alive, Milang to Goolwa Classic).
- It is rich in food, drink and traditional skills (cockles, mulloway, Coorong mullet, cheese, wine, olive oil as well as Ngarrindjeri basket weaving, boat building, painting and crafts).
- A Cittaslow preserves and promotes these unique characteristics and activities whilst helping the community, council and businesses to work together for a sustainable future.
How do you pronounce ‘Cittaslow’?
CHEETA-slow. Citta is Italian for city or town; slow is from slow food.
What are the advantages of being a Cittaslow?
- Goolwa has become a member of an international network of cities and towns that promote quality of life for its citizens.
- Cittaslow principles stress the importance of the residents, the businesses and Council working together.
- It promotes environmentally responsible farming techniques, building practices and business operations.
- Cittaslow provides a framework for planning for the future whilst preserving the past.
- It encourages residents to take responsibility for the development of the town and its hinterland.
- Cittaslow strongly promotes the principles of Slow Food.
- Being the first non-European town to be recognised as a Cittaslow, Goolwa is now the focus for enquiries, a guide for other towns and an example of community involvement in its development plans.
In Australia, who else is interested in becoming a Cittaslow?
Katoomba in the Blue Mountains is the second Australian Cittaslow and Yea Murrindindi in Central Victoria is the third town. Cittaslow Australasia was established in June 2011 at a meeting in Yea. Other towns like Bright (Vic), Kempsey (NSW), Willunga, Kangaroo Island (SA), Albany (WA) and Bellerive (Tas) have shown interest. Matakana in New Zealand is leading the Kiwi program with interest now developing in Te Anau Fiordland.
What other countries are involved?
There are many Italian towns that have become Cittaslow. This is where the movement began. Other towns are in Germany, UK (England, Wales and Scotland), Norway, Sweden, Poland, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Turkey, Canada, USA, South Africa, China and South Korea.
How did Goolwa qualify as a Cittaslow?
We assessed ourselves against a set of criteria in six different sections:
- Environment (air, water and land care, anti- pollution, waste management and recycling)
- Infrastructure (open space, seating, public conveniences, access, traffic management)
- Quality of Urban Fabric (historic buildings, gardens, parks, use of new technology)
- Local Produce and Products (local producers and suppliers of food and crafts, healthy eating, the arts, farmers market)
- Hospitality (facilities for tourists, community life, Slow Food)
- Awareness (communications, local involvement, education).
A formal application was sent to Cittaslow International based in Orvieto, Italy. A delegation visited in March 2007 and granted Cittaslow status to Goolwa. Cittaslow accreditation is an ongoing process where we continue to improve our scores. A new set of criteria has been developed by Cittaslow Australasia.
What are the ideas behing Cittaslow?
- 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 Cittaslow values
- Cittaslow is a gradual process working toward achieving all the aspirations.
Many of the principles are already in action or are part of the Alexandrina Council sustainable planning.