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Slow city Seferihisar to act fast

SEFERİHİSAR, İzmir - Anatolia News Agency | 2/8/2010 12:00:00 AM |

İzmir’s Seferihisar district on the Aegean, Turkey’s first town to be declared a slow city, or cittaslow, will speed up to achieve the necessities of the criteria.

The Aegean city of İzmir’s Seferihisar district, Turkey’s first town to be declared a slow city, or cittaslow, will speed up to achieve the necessities of the criteria.

The symbol of the cittaslow, a snail, will be changed with a snail on skates to reflect the speedy change process.

Seferihisar Mayor Tunç Soyer told the Anatolia news agency that the municipality is proud of being the only cittaslow in Turkey but is also aware of its responsibilities to match the criteria. “The town will go into a period of rapid change, but we will preserve its unique properties,” said the mayor. “To underline that we must be quick, we gave the snail, the symbol of the slow cities, a pair of skates.”

Seferihisar, located approximately 50 kilometers west of the center of İzmir, was declared a “slow city” last October after a Cittaslow International Coordination Committee meeting was held in Italy.

Cittaslow is a movement founded in Italy in 1999 aiming to improve the quality of life in towns while resisting “the fast-lane, homogenized world so often seen in other cities throughout the world.”

Soyer said the works to match the criteria will start with traffic. “The main street in Seferihisar will be closed to traffic for certain hours of the day,” he said. “The car ban in the Sığacık neighborhood, which is for weekends, will be extended to weekdays. Bicycles will be used for transportation in areas closed to traffic, and a horse-drawn carriage service will be launched between the town center and Sığacık.” 

The mayor said the bicycles to be used in the town will be equipped with solar cells. “The riders will not need to pedal when riding on uphill roads, and the elderly, children and women will have a comfortable vehicle of transportation,” said Soyer.

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