From the Italian "citta" meaning city and English "slow". It's a new trend in living that started in the Italian city of Orvieto. The Charter was signed on 15 October 1999 by Carlo Petrini, founder and chairman of Slow Food, and the mayors of the Italian towns of Bra, Greve in Chianti, Positano and Orvieto, which were the movement's foundation. Horrified by the prospect of seeing a McDonald's or a Walmart in their 1000+ year old town, action was taken at the local level.
From the Cittaslow Manifesto: "... towns where men are still curious of the old times, towns rich of theatres, squares, cafes, workshops, restaurants and spiritual places, towns with untouched landscapes and charming craftsman where people are still able to recognize the slow course of the Seasons and their genuine products respecting tastes, health and spontaneous customs..."
Here in Cowichan Bay, we lay claim to being North America's first Cittaslow community in an effort to preserve the beauty and pace of the little seaside village.. The official ceremony and ribbon cutting was held on September 18, 2009.
While many cities focus on creating bigger, faster, newer, shinier and modern infrastructure, a Cittaslow community focuses on quality of life for its neighbourhoods, people and environment.
We also focus on ensuring we have access to local foods, knowing our neighbours and supporting our local growers and artisans.
By seeking Cittaslow designation, we have committed ourselves to putting quality of life for our precious residents first.