So far we have looked at political globalization and economic globalization, and the ways each has contributed to both the interconnectedness of the world and our awareness that the world is becoming a single place.
However, a case can be made for cultural globalization being the most significant factor leading to both the integration of the world and our awareness that this is the case
Fast food and the type of global culture it represents has provoked an interesting reaction: the ‘slow movement’
The ‘slow movement’ resists the cult of speed, of which fast food is a manifestation, and has several dimensions two of which are the Slow Food movement, and Cittaslow , a global network of ‘slow’ cities
Interestingly, the ‘slow movement’ has been shaped by an awareness of globalization: that we are increasingly interconnected by technology which values speed, disposability, and simultaneity
The Slow Food movement began in 1986 when McDonald’s opened a branch at the Spanish Steps in Rome. Some locals were angered by this intrusion and an Italian writer, Carlo Petrini, decided to campaign for an alternative to the ‘fast life’
Inspired by the Slow Food movement, in 1999 several Italian towns pledged themselves to cutting noise and traffic, increasing green spaces and pedestrian zones, promoting local produce, protecting the environment, and enhancing quality of life.
The Cittaslow movement is most developed in Italy with 50 members. The network now includes towns in Germany, Portugal, Norway, Poland and England (Ludlow, Diss, and Aylsham).
“ a slow city is more than just a fast city slowed down. The Slow Movement is about creating an environment where people can resist the pressure to live by the clock and do everything faster” (Honore, 2005: 76-7).
The Slow movement is not about turning back the clock, nor is it against globalization as such.
It is about asserting the possibility of a better quality of life based on sustainability.
“ As the world becomes more globally connected, with international brands and values being marketed … the Cittaslow approach involves living life at a human scale, respecting and supporting the environment and local traditions and preserving them for current and future generations to enjoy” (website blurb)