Most of us are familiar with the idea of slow food, if not check out: www.slowfood.com for more info.
Philosophy: "Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work. We consider ourselves co-producers, not consumers, because by being informed about how our food is produced and actively supporting those who produce it, we become a part of and a partner in the production process."
Many of us however, may NOT be familiar with a similar idea, that of "slow cities".
The slow city movement strives to maintain local culture, keep a "relaxed" pace of life, insure good "hospitality", and promote "local distinctivenes and sense of place".
Check out: http://www.mi.vt.edu/uploads/Slow%20City%20Presentation_Vancouver.pdf
The presentation by Mayer and Knox was given at the World planners congress, Vancouver June '06.
Within the presentation criteria are given with which communities can move toward becoming slow cities, including: environmental protection, urban design and form, urban quality, local products, hospitality, and awareness.
Take the time to look through their presentation, I think you will find it very interesting, and perhaps we can start to build our own communities around these principles. Of course the responsibility is with us, so we might as well start somewhere!