Journal of Geography
Slow City Inhabitants’ Attitudes Toward the Cittaslow StatusMehmet Güleç, Mehmet Sait Şahinalp
The slow city movement emerged in Italy as a response to globalization. The CittaSlow movement has been implemented in 283 cities in 32 countries. The CittaSlow movement appeared in Turkey with Seferihisar in 2009 and has since spread to 22 cities. Acquiring the Cittaslow title has caused notable changes in Cittaslow cities in Turkey. The purpose of this study is to expose the changes that have occurred in cities that acquired the Cittaslow status. The objectives of the research are to discover the advantages and disadvantages of the Cittaslow status and residents’ attitudes toward it. The universe of the study comprises 22 Cittaslow cities in Turkey, with the sample group including seven Cittaslow cities in different regions. The study analyzed the qualitative and quantitative data that were obtained from observations and questionnaires, according to principles of geography. According to the findings, the Cittaslow philosophy has not been adequately clarified to the residents, who view this process to be aimed at tourism-oriented economic growth. Acquiring Cittaslow status has provided favourablecontributions to the local economy and increased female entrepreneurship. According to the local people, traffic jams and environmental pollution have also arisen due to hosting visitors beyond capacity. However, they ignore some of the adversities due to the economic gains.
Yavaş Şehirlerde Yaşayan Halkın “Yavaş Şehir” Statüsüne BakışıMehmet Güleç, Mehmet Sait Şahinalp
Yavaş şehir hareketi, küreselleşmenin dayattığı tek tip şehir modeline tepki olarak İtalya’da ortaya çıkmıştır. Sınırları Avrupa’yı aşan yavaş şehir hareketi 2022 itibariyle 32 ülkede 283 şehirde uygulamaya konulmuştur. Türkiye’de 2009’da Seferihisar’la başlayan yavaş şehir hareketi kısa sürede 22 şehre yayılmıştır. Yavaş şehir unvanıyla birlikte Türkiye’deki yavaş şehirlerin birçoğunda önemli değişiklikler meydana gelmiştir. Çalışmanın amacı, yavaş şehir unvanıyla şehirlerde gerçekleşen değişiklikler, sağladığı avantaj ve dezavantajlar ile bu değişimin şehir sakinleri tarafından ne şekilde algılandığını belirlemektir. Çalışmanın evreni Türkiye’deki 22 yavaş şehir olup örneklemi ise farklı bölgelerdeki 7 yavaş şehirdir. Çalışmanın veri kaynaklarını basılı eserler, anketler, odak grup görüşmeleri ve gözlemler oluşturmaktadır. Gözlemler ve anketlerden elde edilen nitel ve nicel veriler istatiksel yöntemlerle analiz edilmiştir. Araştırmanın sonuçlarına göre: yavaş şehir felsefesi halka yeterince anlatılamamıştır ve bu süreç turizm odaklı ekonomik bir kalkınma aracı olarak görülmektedir. Yerel halka göre “Yavaş Şehir” olmak kadın girişimciliğini ve istihdamını artırmış ve yerel ekonomiye olumlu katkı sağlamıştır. Öte yandan yerel halk, yaşadıkları şehrin taşıma kapasitesinin üzerinde ziyaretçi ağırlaması nedeniyle başta trafik ve çevre kirliliği olmak üzere birçok sorunun ortaya çıktığını da düşünmektedir. Ancak yerel halk tarafından ekonomik kazançlar nedeniyle bu tür olumsuzlukların göz ardı edildiği görülmektedir.
Along with globalization, cities have become living spaces where people work fast, live fast, consume more than they produce, and are not self-sufficient. Cities have turned into sites for people to move and work, rather than places where people live securely together. The idea of the unsustainability of the lifestylepromoted by popular culture has prevailed in people, and from this the slow movement started. The Cittaslow movement emerged for the first time in Italy in 1999 as a reaction to the uniform city model imposed by globalization with the intention of reducing its effects in every area. The Cittaslow movement has many purposes, such as maintaining sustainable urban development based on local resources, equalizing urban infrastructure services, providing spaces for city residents to have fun and rest, protecting the natural environment, promoting environmental attitudes among city residents, preserving the historical urban design, restoring historical buildings, emphasizing urban aesthetics, and promoting a culture of hospitality. Today, the borders of the Cittaslow movement have exceeded the European continent, with the number of member cities having increased to 283 in 32 countries as of 2022. The number of member cities soared in a short time in Turkey, which encountered the Cittaslow movement through the municipality of Seferihisar in 2009. Remarkable changes have occurred in most of the Cittaslow cities in Turkey once they gained Cittaslow city status.
This study purposes to discover the advantages, disadvantages, and transformations that emerged in Cittaslow cities upon receiving this title, as well as the residents’ attitudes toward these changes. In this regard, the main purpose of the study is to reveal whether the criteria to become a Cittaslow have been preserved over time, what kind of differences have emerged in Cittaslow cities in terms of before and after receiving the Cittaslow title, what positive or negative effects has this title had on cities, and how has it affected the perspectives of the local people. The universe of the study involves the 19 Cittaslow cities in Turkey as of 2022, with the sample of the study consisting of seven Cittaslow cities located in different geographical regions of Turkey. The reasons for selecting these seven Cittaslow cities from seven geographical regions of Turkey are to reflect the characteristics of the universe of the study and to reveal the differences in the geographical localities. The data sources of the study consist of printed works prepared in various scientific fields and the surveys, focus group interviews, and on-site observations that were applied in the research area. During the field study, surveys were conducted within the scope of research by handing questionnaires to the residents of these cities. The qualitative and quantitative data that were obtained from the on-site observations and surveys were analyzed according to the distribution, connection and casuality principles of geography in order to reach the results.
Having the Cittaslow status undoubtedly brings along some advantages and disadvantages. The research results have disclosed the Cittaslow philosophy to have not been adequately explained to the local people and the residents of the Cittaslow cities to view this process as a tool for tourism-oriented development. The revival of the tourism sector in the Cittaslow cities has created a public perception where the local people accepted the Cittaslow movement as an economic phenomenon. Although the Cittaslow status has not generally impacted the economic development of the Cittaslow cities in Turkey, many locals do think that it has increased the income levels of a particular segment of the local people. For instance, the local people in the cities of Seferihisar, Taraklı, and Halfeti think that the Cittaslow status has increased their income levels. According to the perspective of Cittaslow city inhabitants, the Cittaslow status has created an awareness among the local people about maintaining historical, touristic, and natural places, in addition to its significant contributions toward promoting these places. The inhabitants of Cittaslow cities also think that having this title has increased female employment and contributed to the local economy,
Being designated a Cittaslow city also has caused adverse effects in addition to the favourable ones. The Cittaslow movement was expected to offer a cleaner environment and living space with reduced environmental problems; however, this protection hasn’t been provided in cities that host too many visitors despite Cittaslow’s environmental policies. Moreover, some Cittaslow cities have opened up agricultural areas to construction. Local public opinions have also exposed traffic jams originating from hosting visitors beyond the city’s capacity to be a big problem. Being designated a Cittaslow city has impaired the traditional food and beverage culture in some cities such as Gökçeada, Halfeti, and Seferihisar. In other cities such as Vize and Yalvaç that attract relatively few tourists and possess a historical-cultural identity, the traditional food and beverage culture has not been affected adversely. Perşembe and Taraklı attract more tourists, however, and have tended toward being dominated by fast food. Meanwhile, many local people have ignored some of the downsides caused by the Cittaslow status due to the economic gains