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The urban slow, quiet movement: Cittaslow

Association of cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants who associate quality of life with homogenization of cities.

Cittaslow (Slow Cities in English) is a movement founded in Italy in 1999, inspired by the Slow Food organization, that has gained relevance in recent years in the fight against the fast food culture and the attempt to preserve local gastronomic traditions as well as their products and methods of cultivation and rearing.

Both Città Slow and Slow Food form a part of the more extensive Slow Movement.

Cittaslow is to urban organization and the character of the city what Slow Food is to gastronomy: a reflexive and serene protest against the equalization and the “Americanization” of cities, that are converted -according to Cittaslow- into standardized franchised spaces that dominate the commercial, cultural and economic life of the metropolis, increasingly less differentiated between suburbs and suburban zones without a city, known as “exurbs” in the United States.

The organization emphasizes among its values the support of cultural diversity and peculiarities that each city can contribute to human culture.

Like Slow Food, Cittaslow is an organization with associated members, in this case cities that have requested to become part of the movement and that have complied with the predefined requirements.

Cities or towns interested in promoting their comparable values through the Slow Movement must have less than 50,000 inhabitants.

To become a member with full rights, the city must comply with, at least, 50% of the requirements established by the organization, and later must present its candidacy at the nearest Cittaslow headquarters.

Full members must pay an annual quota.Besides the full member option, in 2005 the organization created Cittaslow Sympathizers, a type of collaboration through which public institutions, businesses and populations can empathize with the group’s objectives, despite not being eligible for full membership.

Currently, Cittaslow populations exist, besides in Italy, in the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway and Spain. 

Here are some of the cities that form a part of Slow Cities:

  • Italy: among more than 40 Italian Cittaslow populations, are Abbiategrasso, Acqualagna, Anghiari, Barga, Borgo, Bra, Val di Taro, Bucine, Chiavenna, Fiumicino, Massa Marittima, Montefalco, Pratovecchio, Suvereto, Torgiano, Trevi and Zibello. Cuneo province.
  • United Kingdom: Aylsham, Norfolk; Diss, Norfolk; Ludlow, Shropshire.
  • Germany: Hersbruck, Bavaria; Waldkirch, Baden Württemberg; Überlingen, Baden-Württemberg.
  • Norway: Levanger, Nord-Trøndelag.
  • Spain: Mungia, Biscay.