Cowichan Bay is North America’s First “Slow City”

Cowichan Bay has become North America’s first Cittaslow (Slow City). You may be asking what the heck a “Slow City” is. Well, I grew up in what I would consider a slow city, but this is a bit different. The basic criteria: pedestrian walkways, no big box or chain stores, and a population of less than 50 thousand.

So there can’t be too many place that would even conceivably qualify for this. My hometown of approximately 6,000 is chain store heaven. Now I have no problem with an Ace Hardware or Subway, but Cittaslow does. Cittaslow was inspired by the slow food movement. Cittaslow’s goals include improving the quality of life in towns while resisting “the fast-lane, homogenized world so often seen in other cities throughout the world.” It’s part of a larger movement to promote slow travel, slow money and slow living.

There are dozens of town in Italy certified as slow cities and many others across Europe. Now North American has one, a tiny fishing village in British Columbia. Any guesses on if/when an American city will be certified as a “Cittaslow”?


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