The Global Network of Learning Cities welcomes new members


17 July 2019

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is pleased to announce that 38 cities from 23 countries have become members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) in 2019.

These new member cities are making lifelong learning a reality in their communities by involving a range of stakeholders in the planning and implementation of programmes and activities for local people, thus generating a vibrant environment of lifelong learning for all citizens and advancing their city’s sustainable development.

The cities will benefit from being part of a dynamic network whose aim it is to support and accelerate the practice of lifelong learning. The activities of the GNLC members promote policy dialogue and peer learning, forge links, foster partnerships, build capacities and develop instruments to encourage and recognize progress in building learning cities. The UNESCO GNLC also makes an important contribution towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4 (‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’) and SDG 11 (‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’).

With this year’s admission of new members, the GNLC has both grown in countries where its presence was already strong, and expanded into new countries. Three Portuguese cities – Alcobaça, Setúbal and Cantanhede – joined in 2019, bringing the country’s number of member cities up to eleven, while the cities of Dobong-gu, Andong and Jincheon have added to the Republic of Korea’s extensive representation in the network. This year also sees the GNLC, for the first time in its history, extend its reach into Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zivinice), the Kingdom of Bahrain (Muharraq), the Netherlands ('s-Hertogenbosch and Groningen), Poland (Gdynia) and Thailand (Chiang Rai). Furthermore, GNLC membership has grown significantly in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, following the admission of Bogotá and Manizales (Colombia), Escazú (Costa Rica) and Mineral de la Reforma, Tecamachalco and Huejotzingo (Mexico). The full 2019 intake is as follows:

Wyndham (Australia) Circular Head (Australia) Zivinice (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Shanghai (China) Xi'an (China) Bogotá (Colombia)
Manizales (Colombia) Escazú (Costa Rica) Dammietta (Egypt)
Montpellier (France) Evry-Courcouronnes (France) Hamburg (Germany)
Mashhad (Islamic Republic of Iran)  Hashtherd Newtown (Islamic Republic of Iran) Yazd (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Dublin (Ireland) Palermo (Italy) Al-Muwaqqar (Jordan)
Al-Rantha (Jordan) Muharraq (Bahrain) Mineral de la Reforma (Mexico)
Tecamachalco (Mexico) Huejotzingo (Mexico) 's-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands)
Groningen (the Netherlands) Gdynia (Poland) Alcobaça (Portugal)
Setúbal (Portugal) Cantanhede (Portugal) Al-Shamal (Qatar)
Dobong-gu (Republic of Korea) Andong (Republic of Korea) Jincheon (Republic of Korea)
Chiang Rai (Thailand) Hatay (Turkey) Derry City and Strabane Region (United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland)
Glasgow (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Tashkent (Uzbekistan)


Representatives of new member cities will have plenty of opportunities to participate in the GNLC’s activities and help shape the network’s future direction. The fourth International Conference of Learning Cities, which will take place in Medellín, Colombia, on 1–3 October 2019 is a particularly good opportunity for networking. The conference and other upcoming activities will gather strength as a joint effort to promote lifelong learning and sustainable development in cities around the world.