Jana Carp is an assistant professor of community and regional planning at Appalachian State University in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina.  Her research into people’s experiences of the relationships between nature and culture, and how that experience shapes the built environment, was inspired and motivated by growing up in the northern Bay Area in an extended family with agricultural roots around the Bay since the mid-1800’s.

Recently Dr. Carp has been studying the global “Slow Movement” and how “slowing down” some aspects of life might be related to a more sustainable future by increasing both social and ecological well-being. When Sonoma was named the first Cittaslow (or “slow city”) in the United States, last November, it provided her an exciting opportunity to include the city’s new experience in her research. 

Cittaslow, an international movement to preserve and enhance the quality of life in small towns and cities, supports and encourages the actions of engaged, aware communities to create opportunities for enjoyment of the urban environment, establish substantial connections with local food producers, improve environmental health, and sustain a local sense of place.

During her visit Dr. Carp will interview the people behind Cittaslow Sonoma Valley to understand why they have taken this unique step, what specific plans have been identified so far, and how Cittaslow in Sonoma Valley may be the same or different from Cittaslow cities and towns in other countries such as Italy, Germany, and Korea. 

Dr. Carp has studied and been involved with several community-initiated projects, including urban stream restoration, urban tree utilization, public art, downtown planning, and cultural landscape documentation.  She has authored scholarly articles on theories of social space, public participation, and institutional transformation for sustainable development, and has co-edited a popular book on shared housing for low-income households.

Dr. Carp will be featured on the “Mornings in Sonoma with Ken Brown” radio show at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16.   

News from  http://www.cittaslowsonomavalley.org.