We live in a fast changing world. Anthropological studies show that citizens who acquire new knowledge and skills in a wide range of contexts, have more weapons to adapt to the social and environmental changes. The continuous education plays therefore an essential role for our generation’s transition towards sustainable societies.
“Lifelong learning” is an essential element for the humanity’s survival rooted in every culture.
For this reason, UNESCO has established in 2015 a Global Network of Learning Cities, a net of learning communities and cities. This net is very strong in the developed regions but it is getting stronger even in the developing countries and it has today 229 cities in 64 countries.
Every city is unique. Nevertheless, when it comes to education, cities show some common characteristics. Every Learning City, at every development level, can be able to find a strong advantage by sharing ideas among them, for example drawing information from the solutions adopted by another city to solve a given problem.
The GNLC of UNESCO supports and improves the practice of continuous learning in the cities all over the world, supporting dialogues over politics and actions of mutual learning among the involved cities, making connections, promoting partnerships and giving tools for the development of knowledge and to encourage and recognise the progresses reached creating the Learning Cities.
What is a Learning City?
UNESCO defines a Learning City as a city that:
- efficiently mobilises its resources in every area to promote the inclusive learning, from the basic education to the advanced one;
- revitalises learning in families and communities;
- eases learning to and within the labour market;
- extends the use of modern learning technologies;
- increases learning’s quality and excellence;
- supports the culture of a continuous learning.
UNESCO increases in this way the individual’s appreciation, the social inclusion, the economic development, the cultural prosperity and the sustainable development.
Why to build a Learning City?
The continuous learning lays the foundation for a social, economic and environmental sustainable development. The change starts from the citizens who need to get the necessary tools to anticipate and face social, environmental and economic challenges, which continuously change.
Giving citizens multiple opportunities of learning helps them to develop abilities, knowledge and necessary attitudes for a sustainable development.
In 2015 was established the UNESCO Learning City Award, with the aim of encouraging and awarding the progresses made in the development of “learning cities” all over the world.
The Price is awarded to the cities that reach outstanding requisites in the promotion of continuous learning through the fulfilment of the above-mentioned goals and since 2008 the City of Fermo has been included in the UNESCO Learning Cities together with other cities like Torino, Palermo, Lucca and Trieste.