Celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Polish network of Cittaslow cities (2007-2022)

09 Mar 2023

The Polish network of Cittaslow cities was established in April 2007. Over the last 15 years, it has grown almost 10 times. Currently, it has 36 regular members, 2 supporting members and 1 Cittaslow Friend.

Towns from Warmia and Mazury have played a leading role in popularizing the Cittaslow idea from the beginning. The greatest growth of the network has been observed in recent years (2015-2020). This is due to the dynamic development of the idea of cities with “good quality of life”, on the wave of popularization of living in the spirit of “slow”. The idea of the movement is to spread the so-called a culture of good life and hospitality, which is an alternative to the big city rush. This does not mean stagnation and stagnation, but sustainable development in harmony with nature and the historical urban fabric, cultivating regional cuisine and production, developing contacts between local producers, but also striving for the achievements of modernity consistent with the goals of the movement, i.e. the development of Internet networks, the creation of bicycle routes , eliminating architectural barriers or using environmentally friendly building materials in cities. The voivodeship government has been a supporting member of the Cittaslow network from the very beginning, i.e. since 2007.

This year, due to the Jubilee being celebrated, is special for several reasons. Firstly, the Jubilee calendar of events was implemented, which was full of cultural, sports, educational, scientific and promotional events. The ceremonial Anniversary Gala was inaugurated at the end of March, during which awards were given to people who significantly contributed to the creation and development of the national Cittaslow network. Statuettes from the Marshal of the Voivodeship were received by, among others: former network coordinators (Artur Wajs and Artur Wrochna), former voivodeship marshal Jacek Protas and deputy marshal Jarosław Słoma. A long-time propagator of the Cittaslow idea, Mr. Stanisław Harajda, was also honored posthumously.

The next anniversary events were: the Ślimak Half Marathon between Górowo Iławecki and Lidzbark Warmiński, the Cittaslow Cities Festival in Prudnik (Opole Voivodeship), the inauguration of the Southern section of Łynostrada, the Final of the Bicycle Festival in Pasym, the Review of Folk Bands and Bands in Rzgów (Łódź Voivodeship) and Folk Film Festival in Sianów (West Pomeranian Voivodeship). All of them attracted interest from Cittaslow towns. By decision of city authorities, some activities will be continued in the coming years.

The problem of the directions of development of small towns was one of the main topics of the scientific seminar “Landscapes of small towns – contemporary research directions”, which was prepared in cooperation with the University of Warmia and Mazury and members of the National Scientific Committee. The support of the scientific community in the implementation of urbanization processes taking place in cities is an added value, especially during the social revitalization of Cittaslow towns. The event crowning the calendar of Jubilee events was the opening of the exhibition entitled “Social effects of the Supra-local Revitalization Program”, which took place on October 11 this year. at the House of Eastern Poland in Brussels.

The year 2022 is an important time for Cittaslow cities for other reasons as well. During the World General Assembly in Orvieto, Italy, National Coordinator Jacek Kostka was appointed as the First Deputy President of the International Cittaslow Association. This significantly proves the current, strong position of the Polish national network in the Association’s structures. Cittaslow cities from Warmia and Mazury, especially those associated in the “Polish Cittaslow Cities” Association, have developed a strategic document whose assumptions concern the improvement of air quality in cities. The project fiche called “There is no good life without clean air” was recognized as one of the areas of strategic intervention of the European Funds for Warmia and Mazury program for 2021-2027.