From every direction we are told that to be sustainable we must live in a dense urban environment. Suburbia must be retrofitted in compact ways. Rural areas preserved. Small towns and cities are rarely mentioned. In Paul Knox and Heike Mayer's new book, Small Town Sustainability, they say that "In the United states, the fastest-growing places in the country over the past 2 decades have been towns between 10,000-50,000 inhabitants, which together account for just over 10% of the US population."
Beaufort, north of the Broad River, fits right in the middle of this category. Dense Urban living is not for everyone. Livability, quality of life, direct connection to a wonderful outdoors, a clear local identity combine to make Beaufort a great place to live. Globalization, sprawl, traffic, and development of land that should be left alone, are issues we must be address.
A movement has begun to take place called Slow City, (Cittaslow) where small towns, mostly in Europe, decide to protect their local identity, land, businesses, products, traditional way of life. To get the Cittaslow seal of approval requires you sign a 55 point manifesto pledging commit to environmental, anti- globalization, ideals. http://www.cittaslowsonomavalley.org/usa.html
While many cities focus on creating bigger, faster, newer, shinier and sexier infrastructure..a cittaslow community focuses on quality of life for its neighborhoods, people and environment.
Maybe we can grow to embrace our old derogatory "Slow Country" as a lifestyle and place we want to embrace? What are the things we all agree are the reasons we love Beaufort?
The beautiful land, trees, marches, and waterways
The rich cultural and architectural heritage
The diversity of individuals inhabiting these barrier islands- fisherman, Gullahs, vegetable farmers, Northern transports, Southern locals, Artists, trailer and castle dwellers,
Good local restaurants
Art, music, scene wonderful seasons
What could we do to make the above traits sustainable?
Adopt a code that encourages building where infrastructure already exists.
Eat, buy and shop local
Preserve our past and build future homes shops and places to work in ways that preserve the environment.
Welcome visitors to join in enjoying our rich culture, weather and slow lifestyle.
Cittaslow Requirements for Excellence
1. Verification of the quality of the air, of water, of the soil within the parameters established by law.
2. Plans for the promotion and dissemination of differentiated refuse collection including urban refuse and special wastes.
3. Dissemination and promotion of industrial and domestic composting
4. Existence of a purification plant for urban or cooperative sewage.
5. Municipal plan for saving energy, with reference particularly to the use of alternative sources of energy (renewable sources, green hydrogen, mini hydroelectric power plant) and producing heat
from RSU and biomasses.*
6. Ban on the use of O.G.M. * in agriculture.
7. Municipal plan for the regulation of commercial art and traffic signs.
8. Systems for controlling electromagnetic pollution.
9. Program for controlling and reducing noise pollution.
10. Systems and programs for controlling light pollution.*
11. Adoption of systems of environmental management (EMAS and ECOLABEL or ISO 9001;
ISO 14000, SA 8000 and participation in Agenda 21 projects). *
1. Plans for improving and for the reclamation of historical centers and/or works of cultural or historical value
2. Plans for safe mobility and traffic
3. Bicycle tracks connecting schools and public buildings.
4. Plans favoring alternative mobility over private transportation and for the integration of traffic with public means of transportation and pedestrian areas (extra-urban car parks linked to public
transportation, escalators, moving walkways, rail or cable installations, cycling tracks, pedestrian itineraries providing access to schools, work places, etc.) *
5. Verification of Infrastructures to guarantee that public places and those of public interest are accessible for the disabled and the removal of architectural barriers and access to technologies. *
6. Promotion of programs to facilitate family life and local activities (recreation, sports, activities aimed at creating bonds between school and family, assistance, including home assistance for the
elderly and chronically ill, social centers, regulatory plan of municipal business hours, public lavatories). *
7. Center for medical assistance.
8. Quality green areas and service infrastructures (interconnecting green areas, play grounds, etc.)
9. Plan for the distribution of merchandise and the creation of “commercial centers for natural products”.
10. Agreement with the shopkeepers with regards to the reception and assistance to citizens in trouble: “friendly shops”.
11. Redevelopment of deteriorating urban areas and projects for the reutilization of the city.
12. Program for an urban restyling and upgrading. *
13. Integration of the U.R.P. functions, with Slow City information windows. *
Technologies and facilities for Urban Quality
1. Window for bio-architecture and programs for the training of personnel assigned to the information project for the promotion of bioarchitecture *
2. Equipping the city with cables for optical fiber and wireless systems
3. Adoption of systems for monitoring electromagnetic fields.
4. Providing refuse containers in keeping with the environment and the landscape and removal according to established timetables.
5. Programs and promotion for planting public and private places with important environmentally suitable plants, preferably autochthonous in line with criteria of landscape
6. Plans for providing services for the citizens (Dissemination of municipal services via internet and plans for creating and educating the citizens in the use of an internet-based
7. Plan for controlling noise in specifically noisy areas.
8. Plan concerning colors.
9. Promotion of telework.
Safeguarding autochthonous production
1. Plans for the development of organic farming. *
2. Certification of the quality of artisan produced products and objects and artistic crafts. *
3. Programs for the safeguarding of artisan and/or artistic craft products in danger of extinction. *
4. Safeguarding traditional methods of work and professions at a risk of extinction. *
5. Use of organic products and/or those produced in the territory and the preservation of local traditions in restaurants, protected structures, school cafeterias). *
6. Programs for educating taste and nutrition in schools in collaboration with Slow Food*
7. Favoring the activities of wine and gastronomic Slow Food Presidia for species and preparations risking extinction. *
8. Census of the typical products of the territory and support of their commercialization (updating of markets for local products, creation of appropriate spaces). *
9. Census of trees in the city and enhancing the value of large trees or “historical trees”.
10. Promoting and preserving local cultural events. *
11. Promoting “urban” and school gardens for autochthonous cultures grown with traditional methods.
1. Training courses for tourist information and quality hospitality*.
2. Using international signs in the tourist signs of the historical centers with guided tourist itineraries. *
3. Reception policies and plans to facilitate the approach of the visitors to the city and access to information and services (parking, extension/elasticity of opening hours of public offices, etc.) with
particular regards to scheduled events.
4. Preparation of “slow” itineraries of the city (brochures, websites, home pages, etc.)
5. Making the tourist operators and storekeepers aware of the need for a transparency of prices and the exhibition of rates outside the business establishments.
1. Campaign to provide the citizens with information on the aims and procedures of what a Slow City is, preceded by information of the intentions of the Administration to become a Slow City*
2. Programs to involve the social fabric in acquiring the “slow” philosophy and the application of Slow City projects and in particular: educational gardens and parks, book facilities, adhesion to the
project of the germ plasma bank. *
3. Programs for the dissemination of the Slow City and Slow Food activities. *
- Meeting the requisite, launched by Slow City, for the campaign of “action/identity” of Slow City (obligatory)
- Constitution and support of the Slow Food Presidia (note of merit).
Member cities are required to add the trade mark Cittaslow (Slow City) to their municipal letterhead and to add the contents of the “slow” philosophy to their website.
Support to Slow Food activities and projects
1. Establishment of a local Convivium Slow Food.
2. Education programmes for tastes and nutrition for the Compulsory and secondary schools in cooperation with Slow Food.
3. Set-up of school vegetable gardens in cooperation with Slow Food.
4. Implementing one or more projects of Arca or Slow Food Centres for species or productions with the risk of extinction.
5. Use of local area products safeguarded by Slow Food and maintenance of nutritional traditions in collective food service, in protected structures, schools canteens with annexed food education
6. Support to the typical local area products through implementation of the “Mercati della Terra” in cooperation with Slow Food.
6. Support for the “Terra Madre” project and food communities through joint twinning
*= Obligatory requirement