With the increase in urbanization, we started to adopt a consumption-based lifestyle. With the rapidly flowing life and increasing activity, our desire to live more calmly and enjoy life increases as well. At this point, we need a perspective to improve the quality of life by slowing the flow. Translated into Turkish as "slow city/slow city", Cittaslow emerges as a philosophy based on slow living.
What is Cittaslow (Calm City)?
The concept of Cittaslow, which was created by combining the words "citta" in Italian, "city" and "slow" in English, "slow", has actually been in our lives for a long time. Cittaslow formation, which means slow city, is actually a municipal union that has been operating on an international scale since 1999. Based in Italy, Cittaslow is an organization inspired by the slow food movement. One of the main goals of the Cittaslow movement is to improve the quality of life in cities by slowing down the overall speed in the use of space, life and traffic flow in a city.
What are the criteria for a settlement to be a Cittaslow?
Cittaslow cities are trying to fulfill many criteria in order to be a part of this trend. Among the criteria for being a quiet city, there are details about the city's infrastructure, tourism, tradesmen and the harmony of social life with all these. Here are the criteria for a city to be a Cittaslow:
Environmental policies: Candidate cities are expected to take measures in many areas related to the environment, from air and water cleaning to separation of solid waste, from energy saving to biodiversity protection.
- Infrastructure policies: In candidate cities, criteria such as bicycle paths, bicycle parking spaces, and alternative transportation routes to private vehicle use are sought.
- Urban quality of life policies: Any application that can increase the quality of urban life, from the city's internet network to the improvement of social green areas, is evaluated under this criterion.
- Policies on agricultural, touristic, tradesmen and craftsmen: Protection and promotion of those engaged in agriculture and tourism, tradesmen and craftsmen have an important place among the Cittaslow criteria.
- Plans for hospitality, awareness and education: It is important to welcome and host the guests, to inform the people of the city about Cittaslow, and to promote Cittaslow regularly.
- Social cohesion: Anti-discrimination work for minorities, the disabled, children and youth, and practices for the integration of different cultures are among the Cittaslow criteria.
- Partnerships: Calm city candidates are required to cooperate with different institutions and organizations on Cittaslow activities.
Cittaslow Cities in Turkey
In addition to countries such as Italy, Australia, Belgium, Germany and Canada, there are many cities in Turkey that have adopted this approach. Here are the slow cities in Turkey…
Halfeti, which was included in Cittaslow in 2013; It is important for the protection of biodiversity, the promotion and sustainability of natural and cultural landscapes.
Seferihisar; Thanks to its historical features, natural energy resources, local agricultural products and many other riches, it was included in Cittaslow in 2009 and was recorded as Turkey's first quiet city. There are projects such as street lamps, composting facility and natural power plants that benefit from solar energy in the town.
Akyaka is a holiday resort in the Aegean region of Muğla's Ula district. It was awarded the title of Cittaslow in 2011 with its natural landscape features, cultural landscape areas and local layout.
Gökçeada, Turkey's largest island; It was included in Cittaslow in 2011 due to its natural landscape features, rich fauna and flora, island culture and indigenous way of life.
The town, which bears the traces of Ottoman architecture; It was declared a Cittaslow in 700 with its 2011-year-old plane tree, structures such as Acısu and Kemer Bridge, as well as its quiet nature.
Yenipazar, another town with a very old history, managed to preserve its historical texture until today and was entitled to be included in the quiet city category in 2011.
Yalvaç, which was included in Cittaslow in 2012, is a settlement that has hosted many civilizations and has managed to preserve artifacts and traditions from ancient times until today.
Visa, one of the most beautiful towns of Thrace; It has been known as a quiet city since 2012 with its historical riches, waterfalls and bays, caves and unique nature.
Thursday; Thanks to its rich vegetation, mild climate and natural bays, it joined Cittaslow in 2012.
Şavşat, one of the greenest spots of the Black Sea; With its untouched natural beauties, historical architecture and quiet atmosphere, it gained the title of calm city in 2015.
Uzundere; Tortum Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Turkey, won the title of Cittaslow in 2016 with its historical structures, rich biodiversity and clean air.
Güdül, one of the rural districts of Ankara; Thanks to its unique nature, architectural features and ancient history, it joined the union in 2016.
Gerze, the district of Sinop, known as Turkey's happiest province; It was included in the Cittaslow association in 2017 with its lush nature, sea view, handicrafts and local products.
Goynuk, which has the characteristics of a typical Ottoman town, was awarded the title of Cittaslow in 2017 with its natural beauties, historical riches and old Turkish traditions that it has preserved over the years.
Egirdir deserved to be called a calm city in 2017 thanks to its historical richness, its lake that appears in a different color every season, and its rare forest areas.
Mudurnu town is known as a very old settlement. It was awarded the Cittaslow title in 2018 with its unspoiled historical texture, nature and keeping old traditions alive.
Koycegiz, which received the title of calm city in 2019, is a quiet settlement with its natural beauties, citrus groves and historical riches. Although the main livelihood of the town is agriculture, it is also known as a touristic place thanks to its thermal springs and natural beaches.
Ahlat is one of the most interesting regions of our country with its natural beauties and long history. This settlement, which serves as a bridge between eastern and western civilizations due to its geographical location, was entitled to be included in the Cittaslow union in 2019 with its historical texture and nature.