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“Imagining Gurugram as a Learning City”, Virtual Urban Thinkers Campus (An Initiative under World Urban Campaign of UN-HABITAT)

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Date(s) - 30/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
2:00 pm

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Imagining Gurugram as a Learning City is an initiative to mobilise the interest of key stakeholders in the city towards a building a new social relationship focusing on creation of lifelong and inclusive learning environments in the rapidly growing metropolitan area. Our UNESCO Co-Chair Dr. Rajesh Tandon, started by saying that “urban thinkers are not enough, urban doers are equally necessary”. He provided an insight into the crisis being faced by Indian cities, which lack social capital and trust, especially in the pandemic era. Cities are more accurate representatives of existing inequalities than the countryside. All conversations about learning cities must therefore must account for all parts of the cities, and all citizens, not just those in gated formal settlements.

Learning is not limited to formal education systems- learning is lifelong, life wide and life deep. Learning happens in a variety of social contexts; learning takes place for safety, skilling, life and livelihood. The question that arises is whose learning counts? All citizens are learners and learning cities must be built in tandem with lifelong learning perspectives which acknowledge that learning takes place in all stages of life. Welcoming all students in cities is equally important and policy choices have to be inclusive in nature. Learning cities must rest on three foundational principles- social justice, social inclusion and community empowerment.

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