ABSTRACT

In the city environment, learning is not simply an individual process of knowledge and skill acquisition: it is also the mechanism through which cultural transmission and trasfprmation is secured. The perception of the city as a context where learning and cultural production exchange and transmission take place is increasing. Besides there is a growing interest in surveying and analtsing how lefelong learning can contribute to cope with problems which are no doubt crucial for the years to come, such as social and labour market integration and, also, in studying and profiling the existence of different models of "learning cities".

Lifelong learning policies may have a strong impact on disadventaged segments of population and affect their risk of social exclusion and their opportunity to access the labour market.

The present survey has been carried out within the PoLLlis project - lifelong Learning Policies in European Cities and New Employment Opportunities for Disadvantaged People - whose main aim was documenting and analysing new city policies addressing social exclision and from the labour market of disavantaged categories of the society. PoLLlis concerns policies which aim to simulate/incrase lifelong learning through enhancing the interface between informal work-related learning and formal vocational training.

The survey has been articulated in two phases. The first one is a comprehensive review of European Learning city initiatives both in countries belonging to the European Union and outside the Community. The second is a comparative analysis of some cities selected as interesting cases and studied in more depth.

As a result of the survey as a whole, apart from an interesting collection of cases of cities implementing lifelong learning initiatives, there are some relevant conclusions and recommendations. The latter are specifically intended for policy makers or other actors involved in the policy making process at city level in the field of lifelong learning.