Learning cities on the move

Author: Peter Kearns, PASCAL International Observatory

Edition: Volume 55, Number 1, April 2015

Summary:  The modern Learning City concept emerged from the work of OECD on lifelong learning with streams of Learning Cities and Educating Cities having much in common but having little contact with each other. While the early development of Learning Cities in the West has not been sustained, the present situation is marked by the dynamic development of Learning Cities in East Asia – especially in China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan. In this context, the paper discusses the evolution of three generations of Learning Cities since 1992 and speculates on the future. The experience of the first generation is discussed in terms of development in the UK, Germany, Canada, and Australia where initiatives, with some exceptions, have not been sustained. Beijing and Shanghai are discussed as examples of the innovative second generation in East Asia, which is seen as a community relations model
in response to the socio-economic transformation of these countries. International interest in Learning Cities has now been enhanced following a major UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities in Beijing in October 2013, which is to be followed by a Second International Conference in Mexico City. The Beijing Conference adopted the Beijing Declaration on Learning Cities supported by a Key Features document. The paper speculates on possible future development post Mexico City, including the situation in Australia, which is seen as opening opportunities for innovative initiatives.

Keywords: Learning Cities, Educating Cities, Beijing Declaration on Learning Cities, Key Features of Learning Cities, learning communities


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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 55_1. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

Posted in ACE, Non-refereed article