Sydney Food Fairness Alliance - Blue Mountains Regional Forum
CITTASLOW POSITION PAPER - SYDNEY FOOD FAIRNESS ALLIANCE REGIONAL FORUM 18 July 2009
Cittaslow (pronounced 'CHITTA - slow') is an Italian idea developed from the Slow Food Movement in the late 1990s. In essence, Slow Cities allow Slow Food to flourish, with their strong focus on infrastructure, environment, quality of urban fabric, hospitality and community, use of local produce and products (preferably organic) support of clean , green technology, while acknowledging the arts, architecture and history of a region.
A Cittaslow is one where the community chooses to:
- implement an environmental policy which nurtures the distinctive features of that town or city and its surrounding area, and focuses on recycling and recovery;
-put in place infrastructure with a focus on environmentally-friendly use of land;
-preserve the history of a region, the important buildings and historical locations, making sure they are identified, protected and maintained;
-encourage the use of technology that will improve the quality of air and life in the city;
-support the production and consumption of organic foodstuffs;
-protect and promote products which have their roots in tradition and reflect a local way of doing things;
-encourage learning about food and where it comes from;
-encourage a spirit of genuine hospitality towards guests of the town or city.
There are now around 130 Cittalsow in the world, mostly in Europe. We were awarded Cittaslow accreditation in March 2007 after a rigorous self-assessment process for our region involving Blue Mountains City Council, the community and business sectors. This covered key areas, requiring an extensive submission and supporting documentation as well as a visit to our region by delegates from Cittaslow headquarters in Orvieto, Italy. Every 4 years our region is assessed again and as we aim to keep improving our initial assessment score of 73%, various initiatives and projects are developed.
Currently, our major project, A KITCHEN GARDEN IN EVERY BLUE MOUNTAINS' HOME, in partnership with Oasis Horticulture, Winmalee, aims to have most Blue Mountains' residents producing leafy green vegetables within 4 years. This project addresses urban agriculture, food security, community health and peak oil and climate change. Local residents are invited to take coupons for discount starter packs of vegie seedlings to local nurseries, where they are also given information sheests on setting up their kitchen garden in a box. Small hands-on workshops are also promoted and in the forthcoming Spring/Summer relaunch, there is an expanded SUMMER HARVEST aspect as well, consisting of workshops/information on how to collect, store, dry and preserve produce from the garden. Use of Fowlers Vacola equipment, jam-making and kitchen cooking workshops are key components of this. Local cafes, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses will also be invited to conduct kitchen workshops during the Spring/Summer season, and will be featured in promotional material.
Other initiatives by Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains include the production and dissemination of a WELCOME PACK for new businesses/residents in our region. (Printable copies can be obtained from our website at www.cittaslow.org.au) as well as the installation/maintenance of pots in Katoomba Street, Katoomba, containing edible plants. This is part of an edible streetscape which will be expanded to make the central precinct more attractive and conducive to appreciating on foot - a deliberate 'slowing down'. We also maintain a CITTASLOW REGISTER OF SMALL PRODUCERS on our website.