The International Conference on Learning Cities is an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and good practice, the creation and strengthening of partnerships and the fostering of twin cities. It is also, and most importantly, a platform on which to build the future of learning cities. The first International Conference on Learning Cities (ICLC) (Beijing, 2013) opened the global discourse on learning cities and defined the UNESCO concept of a learning city. The second International Conference on Learning Cities in Mexico City was marked by the opening up of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) to membership and defined the role of learning cities in achieving sustainable development. Today, the network consists of around 200 cities from more than 40 countries; united in their determination to promote lifelong learning and, ultimately, achieve sustainable development in their cities.
Given the need for urgent intervention to ensure a safe, liveable planet for future generations, we must develop a concrete action plan. The third International Conference on Learning Cities will therefore move from global discourse to local implementation in implementing lifelong learning to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The aim of the conference is to guide cities in implementing lifelong learning to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level.
More specifically, the objectives of the conference are to:
- Develop an understanding of the role of lifelong learning in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Propose actions for implementing lifelong learning in cities for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Enable peer learning by showcasing best practice.
- Forge links and partnerships (e.g. twin cities) among member cities and partners of the UNESCO GNLC.
 The conference resulted in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration on Building Learning Cities and the Key Features of Learning Cities.
 The conference resulted in the adoption of the Mexico City Statement on Building Sustainable Learning Cities.