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Environment

Seferihisar Cittaslow

Capital of Slowness: Seferihisar

Sabancı Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program continues in its 5th season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to social development. The fourteenth Changemaker of the 5th season is the “Seferihisar Cittaslow” project.

The term “Cittaslow” was coined in Italy, consisting of “Citta” (city) in Italian and “slow” in English. Cittaslow is a network that aims to prevent the disruption of the uniqueness, lifestyle, and local culture of the cities due to globalization.

In order to join the Cittaslow network, cities must meet 70 different criteria ranging from environment, agriculture, and infrastructure policies to traditional cuisines. Seferihisar, a coastal district of İzmir province, applied to the Cittaslow network in 2009 under the “supporting local producers” theme and became Turkey’s first slow city by meeting all the criteria.

Seferihisar Slow City has 4 bazaars set up weekly, one of which is for organic products. In these bazaars, local producers sell their locally grown products. The products are also on sale on seferipazar.com website.

There is an effort to save local seeds in Seferihisar. Local seeds are reproduced and distributed to farmers in Can Yücel Seed Bank. The Seed Exchange Festival is also held every year with the aim of making local seeds available to a wider group.

Local dishes gained importance again after Seferihisar became a slow city. In a restaurant called Sefertası (lunchbox), supported by the municipality, women serve local dishes to their customers. Moreover, street lightings are solar-powered in Seferihisar.

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