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Learning City Bonn: Solutions for a sustainable city

Bonn was the third German city to become a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) in September 2020. At an event on Friday, September 17, 2021, at Bonn’s Haus der Bildung, Mayor Katja Dörner and Dr. Roman Luckscheiter, Secretary General of the German UNESCO Commission, presented the "Learning City Bonn" project to representatives from education, culture, business and civil society.

The project builds on the Sustainability Strategy of the City of Bonn, which was adopted in 2019. Under the motto "Building Sustainability in Bonn on Books, Bytes and People!", education and lifelong learning are to be used as a key to making even greater use of the existing potential and commitment of people and institutions in Bonn with the aim of finding solutions for a sustainable city.

The project is also intended to promote exchange and networking across institutions and sectors and, above all, to strengthen outreach to people who have had little contact with the topic of sustainability to date.

As Mayor Katja Dörner points out: "The topic of sustainability and the promotion of sustainable development rank high on our agenda in Bonn. This is not least due to the strong presence of sustainability actors and initiatives in Bonn: from the United Nations, which bundles its international commitment to sustainable development here in Bonn, to science, culture, education and business, to a very lively and committed civil society. All of these make our city a globally unique competence center for sustainable development - a 'Sustainabiltiy Hub' that also has an impact far beyond Bonn!" 

Municipal commitment to sustainability

Against this background, and more than most other municipalities in Germany, the City of Bonn itself is committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, Bonn became one of the first municipalities in NRW to adopt a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy. The City organizes a variety of events and campaigns on the SDGs, such as the Bonn SDG Days, which will take place in 2021 from September 18 to October 4. Bonn's Adult Education Center is also a nationwide pioneer in communicating the SDGs. In addition, the City is committed to sustainable procurement and fair trade and is pursuing ambitious climate protection goals. 

The "Learning Cities" network

The Global Network of Learning Cities was launched in 2015 by the Hamburg-based UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). The UNESCO network brings together municipalities and education stakeholders from around the world to exchange ideas, learn from each other and inspire each other. The focus is on implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The City of Bonn became the third German city to join the Learning Cities network in 2020. Currently, around 230 cities from 64 countries belong to the network.

More information about the GNLC is available on the institute's homepage at  https://uil.unesco.org/lifelong-learning/learning-cities (opens in a new tab).

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