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Email. Phone. Web.

Source: Charles Landry

Speeding up the world allows no space for reflection saw in a lifetime in the Middle Ages, around 3500. Yet in a survey it was discovered that 99 per cent of messages are not consciously remembered.85

A reaction to speed is 'slowness'. Now joining the stress consultants, therapists and time-management consultants are 'slow coaches' to treat 'rushaholics':

At work they are management freaks, on holiday they are activity freaks, in the evening their time is jammed with social functions ... they're constantly working on their wardrobe, darting into shops buying things ... between watching a video they'll be phoning friends. A woman who was cured noted: 'I've slowed down, I live more basically and because I shop less, I want less... I've replaced quantity with quality.'86

The Slow Cities movement is a reaction to speed based on ethos-driven development. Slow Cities developed out of the Slow Food movement, which started in Italy in the 1980s. Slow Food promotes the protection of local biodiversity, the right to taste through preserving local cooking and eating traditions, and highlights the folly of fast food and fast life. Slow Cities is expanding the concept to be a way of life. It emphasizes the importance of local identity through: preserving and maintaining the local natural and built environments; developing infrastructure in harmony with the natural landscape and its use; using technology to improve quality of life and the natural and urban environment; encouraging the use and production of local foodstuffs using eco-sensitive methods; supporting production based on cultural traditions in the local area; and promoting the quality of local hospitality.

The aim of the Slow Cities movement is to implement a programme of civilized harmony and activity grounded in the serenity of everyday life by bringing together communities who share this ideal. The focus is on appreciation of the seasons and cycles of nature, the cultivation and growing of local produce through slow, reflective living. Slow Cities is not opposed to progress but focuses on changes in technology and globalization as tools to make life better and easier while protecting the uniqueness of town characters. To be a member of Slow Cities and to be able to display the movement's snail logo, a city must meet a range of requirements, including increasing pedestrian access, implementing recycling and reuse policies, and introducing an ecological transport system. Working with the Slow Food network, the Slow Cities movement is spreading the word about its slow brand of community connectedness.

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