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In 1986, the concept of slow food was introduced in Italy. It was a reaction against the growing fast food 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.  Its 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.

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