Sensing Cittàslow: Slow Living and the Constitution of the Sensory City

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In 2004 Aylsham, Norfolk, became Britain’s second Cittàslow Town (Slow City). Embedded within the slow living ideology of Cittàslow is the assumption that the “better” life it advocates involves heightened sensory experience and concomitant pleasure. In contrast to contemporary fast life, it wishes that “suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment [may] preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency” (The Slow Food Companion 2005: 6). In the first part of the paper I analyze how the sensory elements of slow living are represented in the Cittàslow and related Slow Food movement’s literature. Then, based on my ethnographic fieldwork centered on Aylsham’s Cittàslow events and projects, I examine how the routine and creative sensory practices of the individuals who produce and participate in Cittàslow policies and activities are constitutive of a “sensory city.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalThe Senses & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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