Festo Didactic had the honour to actively support the Beijing Declaration on UNESCO Learning Cities.
Learning Cities are supposed to put learning at the forefront of their policies and strategies to empower and inspire their citizens for better life with better education.
For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in towns and cities and the trend of urbanization rapidly increases, particularly in the developing countries. By 2030, 60 % of the world’s population will be living in cities. Consequently, there is an urgent need to anticipate the learning needs of citizens in the fast-growing urban communities of the world. In fact, many cities and urban regions in the world have already become or are setting up learning/educating cities, demonstrating that the building of cities that put learning at the forefront of their policies and strategies has become a significant worldwide phenomenon.
Meanwhile, many cities are keen to benefit from participating in international policy dialogue, action research, capacity building and peer learning to effectively use learning city approaches to promote lifelong learning for their citizens.
Key features of Learning Cities
International experiences have shown that the building of a learning city is a continuous advocacy, facilitation and capacity building process. To facilitate this process, UNESCO has started to develop key features of Learning Cities. These key features will serve as a comprehensive checklist of action points for governments and other stakeholders of cities to build learning cities for promoting lifelong learning for all.
Thus, a Learning City is a city that effectively mobilizes its resources in every sector to:
- promote inclusive learning from basic to higher education
- re-vitalize learning in families and communities
- facilitate learning for and in the workplace
- extend the use of modern learning technologies
- enhance quality and excellence in learning and
- nurture a culture of learning throughout life.
In doing so, it will create and reinforce individual empowerment and social cohesion, economic and cultural prosperity and sustainable development.
Festo Didactic supports the Expert Group for Establishing the International Platform on Learning Cities (IPLC) and contributed to the debates on vocational and workplace learning at the Beijing Conference held from October 21 to 23, 2013.
Festo Didactic will continuously support UNESCO-UIL in mobilising cities to participate in the IPLC and accompany the development and implementation of the Key Features of Learning Cities by various means of collaboration.