Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains


 


Cittaslow International

Cittaslow International Conference

Lidzbark Warminski Poland 24 - 27 June 2011

What a wonderful experience and so worthwhile!

This is my summing up of the time spent among the world's Cittaslow representatives in Poland last month. The setting was superb, the food and hospitality tremendous and the feeling of support and community was wonderful. It is something we each could benefit from, if at all possible.

Our Polish hosts succeeded in making this year's event most memorable and significant at this time on our planet. The delegates from many Cittaslows around the world had such a common connection and aim and the outcomes will be influential at a crucial time. To hear so many acknowledging the raft of opportunities that Cittaslow offers to a world in need was uplifting and augurs well for the near future. From Korea alone came 10 Mayors, Norway and UK had several representatives, USA one, Switzerland sent one couple, from China there were a few, from Portugal came a Mayor and representatives, France... and the list goes on.

From the start of our journey on bus trip taking us to Lidzbark, the feeling of connection was tangible and the discussion between strangers showed that people from different cultures and traditions can get on so readily. The countryside slid by in greens, browns and greys, showing fields and forests and villages from time to time, with new and very old side by side. Development and investment in their future was evident with huge road works causing detours and delays yet no disharmony in our groups.

Gdansk was a surprise with its all new town 'old town' no more than 50 years old, indicating the verve that is part of modern Poland and this was evident throughout the tour, apart from the genuinely old castles, churches and other buildings that survived the conflicts that raged across Europe. True, there are many buildings that echo the Communist era and the Eastern Block development, though the new buildings show how change and prosperity is arriving.

On the other hand, Lidzbark Warminski was mostly a wonder of renovated history and tradition. The Hotel Krasicki - in the birth town of the famous astrologer Copernicus - was luxury, efficiency and hospitality in which our hosts made us so welcomed. The food...the facilities...the staff...all fabulous. The tours we took furthered this experience with the local history and traditions displayed and shared so openly. This and other towns are Cittaslow in all ways.

As for the conference proceedings, the papers and case studies delivered demonstrated that Cittaslow principles and practices are at the forefront of world thinking and planning. The European Commission has Urban Cohesion at a core currently aim and this is inherent in Cittaslow. The concepts discussed at the UN and other global organisations mirror Cittaslow ideals and actions. Each community represented at this conference had so much to offer in the way of unique, on the ground, grassroots projects and activities that can work towards improving quality of life, creating resilience and bringing harmony to our world.

This event also showed that there is room for continued innovation, creativity and greater effort and acceptance of diversity, highlighting real need for more inclusion of all ages, cultures and abilities. Cittaslow is dynamic and can change with the new ways, attitudes and technologies appearing daily and my attendance has galvanised me on the path to promote and nurture the values and heart that is Cittaslow.

The Chairman, Pier Giorgio Oliveti, sends his warm wishes to the people of our Aussie Cittaslows, as do all other officials and representatives, as they really appreciated the long distance travelled to wave our flag and be part of the growing family that is the international Cittaslow network. The certificate was presented to a loud acclamation from the whole gathering. We are encouraged to increase our web presence and continue are projects and expansion of our local activities and to expect visitors from our cousins all over the world.

Those who attended the last conference, Edward and Jane, were fondly remembered too, so let's see what next year brings.

Paul Payten

Convener

Katoomba Blue Mountains

Cittaslow Sunday 2011

Cittaslow International organizes an international event to promote, across the world, "concepts" and "projects" which represent the reality and the idea of being Cittaslow. The President, Gian Luca Marconi, establishes the world Cittaslow Day to spread the word about us.

There is a list of all the events are constantly updated, organised by Cittaslow worldwide on the international network web site - www.cittaslow.net.

Cittaslow Sunday
Cittaslow Sunday

Cittaslow International

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