Member of the Australia National Network
Mark Greenhill - Mayor of Blue Mountains
Nigel Bell - Representative Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains
In March 2007 a delegation from Cittaslow headquarters in Italy inspected Katoomba, the most prominent town in the Blue Mountains. The Australasian Network of Cittaslow was then commenced. When visiting the Blue Mountains, the delegates experienced our magnificent World Heritage listed environment. The Blue Mountains is remarkable, amongst other things, for being a city within a World Heritage listed National Park. This region contains 26 villages or towns across 85 km spanning the Great Dividing Range.
The Greater Blue Mountains Area consists of 10,300 square kilometres of mostly forested landscape on a sandstone plateau 60 to 180 kilometres inland from central Sydney in New South Wales Australia. The area includes vast expanses of wilderness and is equivalent in area to almost one third of Belgium, or twice the size of Brunei.
Prior to 1880 Katoomba was little more than a scattered collection of dwellings - a village, huddled around one main road and a few bridle paths. In 1878 the name 'Katoomba' was adopted and soon recognised as an important mining town. Around this same time Sydney society was discovering the potential for health and recreation in the Blue Mountains. In 1882 The Great Western Hotel was built (the name changed four years later to The Carrington) and Katoomba gradually transformed into a fashionable resort. Mining ceased in the early part of the twentieth century and Katoomba continued to grow with its tourism and the magnificent sights of the Blue Mountains. Other villages were established during this time, such as Springwood and Mt Victoria, though none rival Katoomba for size and diversity of surroundings, culture or climate.
Katoomba is still focused on tourism, with many businesses either related to tourism or benefiting from it. Our diverse cafes and restaurants, vibrant arts community, small producers and unique small businesses foster the eclectic and exciting ambience of our township.
A Kitchen Garden in Every Blue Mountains Home : The Blue Mountains might come to be regarded as the Rooftop Garden of Sydney and residents are encouraged to take up the challenge and create a kitchen garden in their home. By 2012 Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains hopes that most homes will be growing their own leafy green vegetables. Thishas several aims: Create healthier eating, help to reduce the emissions that result from food production and transport thereby easing the local impact of climate change.
Street flower pots: Sponsored planter boxes have been set up in Katoomba. Around 24 pots (varnished oak half wine barrels) containing an evergreen shrub in the middle and petunias/pansies around the perimeter, have been installed along Katoomba Street, Katoomba, the main shopping area.
It only costs $100 to sponsor a pot and that includes a free plaque with the sponsor's name engraved on it. What a great way to promote your community group, school, day care centre, garden centre, business, retirement village, sporting group or guest house! Private individuals can also sponsor a pot.
Butterfly Walk: The Butterfly Walk (Mural) for Katoomba has finally been installed in Davies Lane, alongside Katoomba Newsagency. An initiative between Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains and Katoomba Chamber of Commerce and Community, the Mural has been designed and painted by well-known mountains artist Birgitte Hansen and depicts just some of the 4,000 moths and butterflies in our region. It is hoped the mural can be progressively added to over the years and for this reason is seen as a LIVING CANVAS. There will be 3 levels of sponsorship: level a $500, level b $1,000 and level $1,000 plus. All sponsors will have their names placed on the artwork so their support will be publicly displayed and acknowledged.
Art & Heritage Walk: With the Heritage and Art Walk brochure in hand, visitors can explore and enjoy the past and present, art and community, while breathing in our fresh, clean air. As far or as close as you wish to venture, this guided walk is worth a try. Simply print off the brochure from the web site, set aside an hour or a day, and step into our beautiful and historic township and its environs. You can enjoy the natural and built environment and refresh yourself along the way, with whatever you fancy.
Australasian Cittaslow Network: As a result of the growing number of towns and villages which have voiced their interest in joining the network, there is a way that enables this to occur, without directly involving a delegation from Orvieto, Italy. (By reducing travel we reduce our ecological footprint and this is one of the aims of a Cittaslow) Those towns and villages actively exploring Cittaslow accreditation now are Yea (Vic), Bright (Vic), Kempsey (NSW), Willunga, Kangaroo Island (SA), Albany (WA) and Bellerive (Tas) with Matakana in New Zealand leading the Kiwi program. An Assessment Team from Goolwa and Blue Mountains has been formed which will visit and inspect prospective Cittaslows and recommend them for accreditation. So, once the necessary submission has been approved by Orvieto, they may become fully endorsed and part of the CAN.
A wide range of locally grown, organic and Non Chemical produce and foods are available produced by Cittaslow members; Many artists of all kinds produce art works for local and external markets;
A large number of cafes and restaurants exist with a wide range of international menus and food styles available; Local wine and beer makers offer unique products; Bakeries and food producers create a wide variety of organic and non organic foods and confectionaries; Organic beef, lamb and other meats, processed and raw.
Chooks Tours: Tours of home gardens with poultry farming; Eco Homes Tours: sustainable homes are openned to public viewing twice a year; Fashionista self guided tour: self guided tour of recycled/pre-loved, locally produced clothing and fashion goods with indicated rest stops at cafes and restaurants; Pedal to Providores is a new tour by bicycle to a growing list of growers, producers and manufacturers where tasting and making foods and sweets is available.
Slow Food Blue Mountains (SFBM) has been flourishing since 2006 under the guidance of our Convivium Leader, Anne Elliott. There are around 35 - 40 financial members and they have events throughout the year - just about every month - and the seasonal blue nose wine dinners 4 x a year. No specific, organised meetings - just events, workshops, hands-on activities (Have developed a Fruit and Nut Tree Network, which maps productive trees in public spaces that could be valuable in the future as a genuine food source.
Slow Food members meet regularly and hold bimonthly dinners at different venues throughout the Blue Mountains. Workshops are held regularly and the focus is on local produce and how to prepare various foods, e.g. cheese making, cooking with dock and many other interesting and varied items.