Concept Note at the International Conference on Learning Cities in Beijing, China from 21 to 23 October 2013
In recent years, in parallel to the wide acceptance of the concept of a learning society, the growth of "learning communities", "learning cities" and "learning regions" has become an effective operational approach for promoting lifelong learning. Although the idea of learning cities was conceptualised in developed countries, facilitated by the OECD since the 1980s and the European Commission since the 1990s, it is now rapidly gaining momentum in developing countries as a key strategy for stimulating economic, social and environmental development. Studies by the OECD, the European Commission and the PASCAL
Observatory have shown that the creation of learning cities has become an effective instrument in promoting lifelong learning in the international community, despite various challenges. Indeed, the strategies of building a "learning city", "learning region" or "learning community" have by now proved their effectiveness and thus gained renown so that a Member State aspiring to build a learning society might use them to mobilise or encourage their local authorities. This concept note will serve as a good starting point from which further reading on the theme can be done.