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Learning - the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values - occurs in every city. However learning cities are places where learning throughout the life-span of all citizens is explicitly, systematically fostered, and the learning resources of every sector of a city are mobilized whether they be the economic - (from private to social enterprise); civic - (local government and its senior counterparts); public - (libraries, museums, health and social service agencies); education - (Kindergarten to post-graduate studies); or voluntary - (from faith communities to self-help, and cultural groups).

Learning cities are distinguished by their explicit use of the concept of lifelong learning as an organizing principle and social/cultural goal. The cross-hairs of the lens of lifelong learning are focused on systematic provision of learning opportunities from birth to death (the vertical or life-span dimension) - and the use of learning resources (human, facilities and materiel) across every sector (the horizontal or life-wide dimension).

Learning cities are places where people are learning how to forge new partnerships and strategic alliances across different sectors to achieve their mutual goals. Innovative working relationships, and use of new learning technologies to enable networking within and among learning communities– are hallmarks of learning cities. As is evident from the following table, cities can placed on a continuum from those that are intentionally learning how to mobilize their learning assets to achieve their aspirations in the emerging knowledge-based economy and society to those in which the response is at best reactive, sporadic, and piecemeal.

Towards a Learning City

Towards a Learning city

Towards a Learning City