Hamburg, 24 October 2018 – Learning cities around the world are taking action to enhance quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all in their communities. To support their efforts, UNESCO has just launched a series of video tutorials, available in all UN official languages, which provide insights for policy-makers, city leaders, urban planners and education experts on how to successfully build a learning city.
‘Learning cities are really drivers of change. I hope that many more communities around the world will become learning cities and contribute to lifelong access to quality education and learning opportunities’ – Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education
A learning city inspires, guides and supports people to engage in lifelong learning, throughout their lives and beyond classrooms. It strives to make education and learning accessible to all at the workplace, in families and in public spaces, and draws on the potential of digital technologies.
Cities around the world have developed diverse learning initiatives based on their local cultures and conditions; however, common areas of action do exist. Planning, involving stakeholders, celebrating learning and ensuring it is accessible to everyone constitutes fundamental dimensions of a learning city strategy along with monitoring progress and securing sustainable funding. In view of supporting such strategies, UNESCO, with the support of partners*, has developed seven animated video tutorials to equip policy-makers, urban planners and local education leaders with the knowledge they need to design and implement a learning city initiative. Additional videos provided by members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities complement the tutorials and provide examples of best practice.
This set of video tutorials will support learning city leaders to get their initiatives off the ground and make lifelong learning a reality for all.
*Cork Learning City Lead Partners, Think Visual, Center for Regional Cooperation for Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (CREFAL), Melitopol, UNESCO Office in Beirut, and Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences (BAES).
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
Michelle Diederichs, Public Relations, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
Phone: +49 40 44 80 41 45
Notes to editor:
What is a learning city?
The guiding documents of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) define a ‘learning city’ as a city that effectively mobilizes its resources in every sector to promote inclusive learning from basic to higher education; revitalizes learning in families and communities; facilitates learning for and in the workplace; extends the use of modern learning technologies; enhances quality and excellence in learning; and fosters a culture of learning throughout life. In doing so, the city hopes to enhance individual empowerment, social cohesion, economic and cultural prosperity, and sustainable development.
Global goals, local actions
If we are to achieve the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which seeks to ensure healthy, safe and prosperous living environments for everyone, now and in the future, it will be crucial to re-evaluate our dominant models of social and economic development, globally and locally.
The recently launched publication Learning Cities and the SDGs: A Guide to Action links the concept of learning cities to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It seeks to facilitate the process of transforming global goals into local actions by showing concrete steps that members of the UNESCO GNLC have taken to promote lifelong learning for green and healthy environments, equity and inclusion as well as decent work and entrepreneurship.
UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities
The UNESCO GNLC is an international policy-oriented network providing inspiration, know-how and best practice. The network supports the achievement of 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’). It also aims to contribute to progress towards the other SDGs. The UNESCO GNLC supports and improves the practice of lifelong learning by promoting policy dialogue and peer learning among member cities, forging partnerships, providing capacity development, and developing instruments to guide policy and practice towards building learning cities.