BLUE MOUNTAINS WINS ENDORSEMENT AS A 'CITTASLOW'
The City of the Blue Mountains has won endorsement as a Cittaslow*, highlighting the region's qualities as an outstanding source of fine food and quality produce, and as a thriving artistic environment. Being declared a Cittaslow will add to the Blue Mountains' already high status as a UNESCO World Heritage Area and one of Australia's top tourist destinations.
Delegates from Cittaslow headquarters in Orvieto (Italy) visited the Blue Mountains on 16 March. A full itinerary ensured that they gained a taste of the region's magnificent natural environment, diverse cafes and restaurants, artisan bakeries and other small businesses, vibrant arts community and unique domestic architecture.
The visit by the Italian delegation capped a feverish few months' work by a dedicated Blue Mountains group to gain support from local government and tourism authorities and prepare a massive submission for Italy's Cittaslow HQ emphasising the region's eligibility.
The visit culminated in the announcement at a Civic Reception at the historic Carrington Hotel of successful endorsement as CITTASLOW KATOOMBA BLUE MOUNTAINS. The luncheon event featured food of the region ranging from Hominy sourdough bread to Bathurst wines, Oberon bio-dynamic lamb, in-season chestnuts from Mount Irvine, cheeses, and gourmet cakes and chocolates. The food was prepared and served by Carrington staff and students from the Blue Mountains Hotel School.
Cittaslow (literally 'Slow City', pronounced CHITTA-slow) is an extension of the worldwide Slow Food movement. Since beginning in 1999, Cittaslow has seen the establishment of networks involving around 130 cities, mainly in European countries, and is spreading further afield including to South Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The foundation of the Australasian Cittaslow Network is being established and it will be driven by Blue Mountains and Goolwa, SA.
Cittaslow is not just about food. Its aims are much wider, and are based on taking time to identify what is important and special about a region developing strategies to preserve its unique qualities. It brings great benefits for the local economy, the environment, tourism, and local residents' quality of life, and helps to further define the points of difference from other regions.
The Cittaslow working party is considering a range of projects and initiatives for the Mountains over the next 12 months including public art, urban agriculture, and township meetings. The BMCC is actively supporting this program and though Katoomba is officially named as the cittaslow, the framework of cittaslow will in time be adopted across all Blue Mountains villages as they develop their own focus on being a part of this sustainability movement.
Many programs and groups already exist in the Blue Mountains and elsewhere that actually are 'cittaslow' in nature and spirit, so it may be possible to integrate them in some way under a common banner to enhance their positive impact. Cittaslow might just be that banner.
Further Information: Nigel Bell, Convenor, Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Moountains
Phone: 0413 109 098 / 02 4782 5066 or Email:
Photos are available
*The message of Cittaslow:
'Cities given life by people with a respect for times past, rich in places to meet, in theatres, workshops, cafes, restaurants, spaces for imagination, with intact landscapes and skilled handcraftsmen, where people can still appreciate the slow, wholesome passing of the seasons, with good eating and good health provided by natural foods with respect for tradition.'