At first, the Cittaslow organization only recognized towns with fewer than 50,000 residents. But that’s changing with a wave of interest from major cities. Urban centers with public transportation and amenities such as a robust infrastructure enabling telecommuting are eager to take part. Recently, a group from the booming Chinese city of Wenzhou visited Cittaslow’s Italian headquarters to learn how slow living might help preserve traditional Chinese culture. Barcelona is considering turning wasted urban space, such as pedestrian bridges, into green oases. In New York and Denver, downtown micro-apartment complexes, featuring dwellings under 500 square feet, are being completed.

The longing for authentic experiences and personal meaning will continue to drive the trend to simplification, especially among people under 40 who’ve learned the dangers of centering life on a career.

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