What is a slow city?

I’ve just arrived in Lisbon to give a talk to a group of business people. My hotel is in the Bairro Alto, the old quarter where narrow, cobbled streets trickle live rivulets of water down the hill to the sea. It is hard to get anywhere in a hurry, and you wouldn’t want to anyway because the architecture is so beautiful. It’s all a million miles from so much of North America, where the roads are laid out so that cars can hurtle through, and the functional, disposable buildings offer nothing to arrest the eye or make you want to linger. When it comes to slowing down, Europeans, with their wonderful, old cities, definitely have an advantage…Now I’d better hurry up and rehearse my speech….