Unlocking the Potential of Urban Communities: Case Studies of Twelve Learning Cities

  • September 2015

Mr Arne Carlsen, Director UIL, envisions that this publication ”will be a source of inspiration to mayors, city councils, education experts, researchers, stakeholders and citizens alike”.

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has just published ‘Unlocking the potential of urban communities: Case Studies of twelve learning cities’ in cooperation with the showcased cities and with generous support from the National Institute for Lifelong Education of the Republic of Korea (NILE). The publication is the first of its kind. It showcases examples of cities from all over the world which use the learning city approach to enhance citizens’ individual empowerment, social cohesion, economic development, cultural prosperity and sustainable development.

The case studies feature good practice from and lessons learned in the following learning cities: Melton (Australia), Sorocaba (Brazil), Beijing (China), Bahir Dar (Ethiopia), Espoo (Finland), Cork (Ireland), Amman (Jordan), Mexico City (Mexico), Ybycuí (Paraguay), Balanga (Philippines), Namyangju (Republic of Korea) and Swansea (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Among others, the showcased cities shared their motivation and vision to build learning cities, their legislative framework in this regard as well as their implementation approaches. They provide valuable insights on specific actions and programmes, providing know how and inspiration for cities all over the world to build learning cities. They also reflect on specific challenges tackled in the process of building a learning city.

While motivations for and approaches to building a learning city may differ based on individual cities’ significantly different contexts, they do also share a few common factors. Most cities recognise education and community as interacting elements of city growth. All cities have strong and visionary aspirations for both their cities and their citizens, and all cities are creative and pioneering in their desire to respond to a changing world with new ideas. All learning cities have the vision to enhance lifelong learning for all for their city’s future.

This publication provides tried and tested guidance on how to promote, implement and monitor the learning city concept. It showcases a practical approach to implementing lifelong learning through building learning cities. Based on the case studies, the publication concluded guidelines on building learning cities. Those guidelines provide a valuable tool for cities worldwide in enhancing lifelong learning in their communities.

The official launch and presentation of the publication will take place at the 2nd International Conference on Learning Cities (ICLC) in Mexico City in September 2015, where representatives of the showcased cities will be present and share their experience and insights on building learning cities with participants.

View the publication online: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002345/234536E.pdf

  • Author/Editor: Raúl Valdes-Cotera, Norman Longworth, Katharina Lunardon, Mo Wang, Sunok Jo, Sinéad Crowe
  • Unlocking the Potential of Urban Communities: Case Studies of Twelve Learning Cities
  • UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, 2015
  • ISBN
    978-92-820-1195-9
  • Available in: English, French, Spanish