Slow Cities…

This is cool:

It’s an article about a town in British Columbia that is officially designated as a “Slow City,” with no fast food, no big box stores, ample pedestrian walkways, and a whole different attitude toward living.

I like it.

At the same time I’m a little ambivalent about it; I love the idea, but my life is so not conducive to the concept, you know?  I have places go to, schedules to keep, and sometimes you just gotta cut the corners, right? Right?

On the other hand…if I lived in a city like this, my expectations, all of our expectations, would have to be different.  I’m not sure I always take into account the role peer pressure plays in all the areas where my greenness fails.  I want to keep up with the other moms, I want to Get it Right, I want to do my part, I want to fit in. (The fact that I’ve never fit in, anywhere, in my entire life, is sort of immaterial here, I guess.  Except when I can find other un-fit-in-ables to hang with, and we make our own little island of misfit toys…)

Wouldn’t it be cool if peer pressure could work the other way? If it has to work at all?  If the world around us were shaped and formed in a way that made walking easy, cooking a pleasure, scheduling more balanced, garbage-generation rare, and respect for the planet and each other just sort of a given, would it be easier? I really believe it would…

Maybe we could even bring back the concept of the afternoon nap.  Utopia. (And think of the electricity we’d save!)



Posted on December 6, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. So I read the article, and was happily dreaming about how lovely this all sounds, I then googled cittaslow in Australia to see if there were any places here, there are 2, one about an hour from where I live now and the other I nearly died when I saw it – it was where I grew up in the Blue Mountains ( Yes it’s not as fast paced as inner Sydney but I don’t really know if it’s as good as they make out. Public transport is terrible and cars are really the main way to get any where for starters. Employment is terrible and most people commute 1 1/2 – 2 hours one way to Sydney every day, leaving no family time during the week. It’s a nice place and all, but I don’t know…I left there when I was 18, 10 years ago, maybe I would feel differently now I’m a little more wiser? Although my dad still lives in the same house… maybe I’m just looking a gift horse in the mouth?

    Peer pressure does work in the other way, it’s just unfortunate that the majority of those who do the influencing aren’t as interested in the green lifestyle, or it is only seen as a short-term fad. My green friends all live in my computer! I think it would be a lot harder having kids. I have a friend with young kids and his wife is really competive with the other mums, everything has to be perfect.

    Sorry for the long post, I got a little carried away there. xx B.

  2. yep, that’s the thing about “slow city”- I know a whole bunch of places that don’t have fast food restaurants and such… they are the village and those surrounding that I grew up in.

    Bec is right- public transportation is terrible and you need to drive to get anywhere. Also employment is low- and it is UBER expensive to live on and around Vancouver Island. Those “slow” city folk, many most likely just drive an hour into the big city for their “night” life…

    would they still be so happy about having a “slow” community if it were like where I grew up and actually isolated from any sort of city?…..

    I do know that Vancouver (North Van) has repeatedly blocked Wal-Mart from opening a store there, even when they proposed to make the first ever “green” wal-mart store. Which is pretty darn cool that they stood their ground.

  3. greenmomintheburbs

    And my parents live on a semi-idyllic little New England island which is so idyllic that tourists and really wealthy people flock there and none of the people who work in the idyllic and touristy parts of town (which IS fairly public transit-friendly, to shuffle all the tourists around) can actually afford to live there. They drive in from the mainland. Where there is a Wal-Mart, a Home Depot, and several fast food joints.

    I know, nothing’s as simple as it looks, is it? Sigh…

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