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The slow cities movement started in Italy in 1999 when Mayor Paolo Saturnini chose to stay small and protect local business instead of courting industry and growing larger. With the help of three other Italian towns and the Slow Food organization he founded the Cittaslow movement.Saturnini's decision and the organization it spawned did not go unnoticed. Today, more than 120 cities have earned Cittaslow designation and that number is growing. In 2009, Cowichan Bay, British Columbia, became the first city in North America to achieve the honor.
Hopefully, it is one of many to come.