Learning Cities: Philosophy, History, and Experiences From Africa

Learning Cities: Philosophy, History, and Experiences From Africa

Peggy Gabo Ntseane (University of Botswana, Botswana) and Idowu Biao (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8134-5.ch004

Abstract

This chapter opens up with the suggestion that the “leaning cities” concept may well apply to ancient cities since learning has characterized life in all cities of the world since time immemorial. However, it is acknowledged that the “learning cities” construct was specifically originated during the 20th century for the purpose of assisting city dwellers cope with the challenges of modern city life. Dwelling on the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa, the chapter reveals that learning cities projects are not currently popular in the sub-continent. This lack of interest has been attributed to the fact that Africans were never and are still not taken along during the process of transformation of both ancient and modern spaces into cities. Consequently, it is here recommended that a transformative learning process that uses both indigenous knowledges and endogenous city clusters as learning pads should be adopted for the revitalization of the implementation of learning cities projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Learning Cities Within The Context Of Ancient Cities

As alluded to earlier, all cities that ever existed, did learn. Be they located in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia, the Antarctica or Africa. However, whereas the modes and processes of learning on most of these continents have been altered significantly many times over, through wars, technologies and new thinking, in Africa, the changes have not been profound enough to obliterate all traces of the learning cities practices of ancient African cities. While the expectation would have been for this section of the chapter to discuss learning cities practices in all ancient cities of the world, the chapter focuses on African ancient cities because of the fact that the authors are more conversant with the facts relating to ancient Africa.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Smart Cities: Cities that use technologies to promote efficiency and sustainability in city life activities.

Transformative Learning: Learning that challenges old views through a process of disorientation and self-examination which ultimately leads to a change in opinion or behavior.

Philosophy: An area of knowledge that discusses meanings and core issues of phenomena.

Drivers of Lifelong Learning: Factors that make lifelong learning unavoidable and imperative.

Principles of Lifelong Learning: Use of the concept of lifelong learning as instrument or mode for advancing learning under specific environments including social, professional and/or emergency issues environments.

Indigenous Knowledge: Pieces of knowledge belonging to a specific world view that have served a people to live a sustainable kind of life for centuries in parts of the planet earth.

Lifelong Learning: Learning that occurs throughout a lifetime.

Learning Cities: A concept of learning designed to assist city dwellers resolve and cope with the challenges city life present them with.

Industrial Revolution: An 18 th and 19 th century human achievement in massive production of mechanical machinery that has come to reduce muscular energy use in labor.

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