International Conference: Towards Building Sustainable Learning Cities


Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico)
CC Luis Rasilvi
15 July 2015

The 2nd International Conference on Learning Cities (ICLC), co-organized by UNESCO and the Government of Mexico City, will be held from 28 to 30 September 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. This Conference will mark a milestone towards ‘Building Sustainable Learning Cities’ and make a significant contribution to the achievement of UNESCO’s 2030 education agenda.

‘We need learning cities for a better future for all,’ declared UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, during the 1st International Conference on Learning Cities, which took place in 2013. More than 500 participants, including mayors, ministers and representatives of international organizations, NGOs and corporations gathered for this Conference in Beijing, China, to discuss ‘Lifelong Learning for All: Inclusion, Prosperity and Sustainability in Cities’. The Beijing Conference culminated in the adoption of two guiding documents: the Beijing Declaration on Building Learning Cities and the Key Features of Learning Cities. These documents define the concept of a learning city and elaborate the actions that need to be taken in order to realize the vision ‘Lifelong learning for all is our city’s future’. Since the 1st ICLC, the practice of building learning cities has further accelerated and expanded around the world. Many cities have started to adopt the learning city approach in order to tackle their specific challenges and have put the outcome documents of the first Conference into action. Over the same period, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning has laid the groundwork for the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).

The 2nd ICLC will be held in Mexico City, one of the largest and most populated, multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world. The Conference will take place in the Historic Centre of Mexico City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a particularly vibrant part of the city. The monumental architecture – some of which dates back to pre-Hispanic and colonial times – will provide a stunning backdrop for discussions on progress achieved to date and learning cities of the future. Through a dynamic agenda of plenary sessions, parallel regional forums and a mayors’ forum, participants will deepen their understanding of how to develop sustainable learning cities, strengthen partnerships and networks, and implement the Key Features of Learning Cities. The Conference will provide a platform for participants to share their expertise, learn from each other’s experience, forge partnerships, create synergies and enhance lifelong learning for all in communities all over the world.

Mayors, city education executives and experts from international organizations, NGOs and corporations dedicated to the promotion of lifelong learning for all are cordially invited to participate in the Conference and help shape the future of learning cities. The organizers are looking forward to a successful event in Mexico City, which has demonstrated great commitment to building a thriving learning city.

Registration is now open on the Conference website ( Prospective participants who wish to take part in the Conference as members of their national delegation may contact the National Commission for UNESCO in their country. For further questions and information, please contact the Secretariat of the Conference at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), Feldbrunnenstr. 58, 20148 Hamburg, Germany; phone: +49 40 44 80 41 12; fax: +49 40 41 077 23; email:

For further information on the press conference for this event, please contact Jaime Reyes (