- Planning Learning Cities: Addressing Globalisation Locally   click here to open paper content46 kb
by    Candy, Janet | cand0012@flinders.edu.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
In dozens of countries, Learning Cities are a local response to globalisation. This paper outlines the concept and principles of Learning Cities, and draws on recent Australian research to explore the ways in which town planners, and the physical environment they shape, can help these cities to achieve their objectives.
Contemporary society is characterised by transition and uncertainty, with increasing globalisation, advances in information and communication capabilities, and a significant industrial shift contributing to social, economic, technological and environmental transformations at a global scale. Around the world, local communities are seeking policy and initiatives that will provide not just resilience and adaptability, but sustainability and competitiveness. On all continents, cities are becoming ‘Learning Cities’ as a means of addressing globalisation locally.

Through collaboration across the community, Learning Cities seek to enhance local capacity by focusing on their ‘human potential' – facilitating individual and community development by supporting ‘learning for all’. To date, however, Learning Cities have been largely associated with social and economic collaboration. This paper focuses on recent research by the author into the essential complementary role that can be played by professional town planners (and the environment they shape) in transforming cities into Learning Cities.

The contribution of town planners in Learning City initiatives is examined through three distinct aspects of professional practice – the principles of the profession; the process of decision-making; and the products of planning (both plans and regulations and the physical environment). Drawing on a survey of the experiences and opinions of practising planners and ‘Learning City organisers’ across Australia, and using case studies from a range of cities, the paper explores the current involvement of town planners in Learning City initiatives, and suggests how this may be enhanced in the future.

This paper will be of interest to planners from a range of backgrounds. It is intended to be both informative and thought provoking; providing an understanding of Learning Cities and the planner’s role, as well as opportunity to consider their potential to address globalisation at a local level.
planner role; practice; lifelong learning
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