PALLACE - Promoting Active Lifelong Learning Links between Australia, Canada, China and Europe

Target Sector(s): 
Target Sector(s): 
Target Sector(s): 
Local/Regional Authority
Target Sector(s): 
Target Sector(s): 

In the wake of the events in the early years of this millennium, very little can be more important than the establishment of multilateral links between cities, creeds, cultures and countries in the building of a new learning and understanding world. The PALLACE project was a two year project between learning cities and regions in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and Canada to stimulate the development of knowledge, experience and practical role-enhancing projects between city stakeholders (schools, adult education, business and industry, universities, communities, voluntary sector etc). It arose from a highly successful lecture tour made by the project leader to Australia in July/August 2001 and to Alberta in November 1999, where the essentials of the European Learning Cities TELS project (which he managed) were described to captivated audiences. The project therefore expanded knowledge of the Learning City concept from words into practical action between continents. The interaction was at all levels of the learning city, engaging a variety of individual stakeholder groups in collaborative pilot activities, and increasing knowledge of their roles in learning city and region development. Thus community developers explored with each other the ways in which lifelong learning concepts could be built into the structure of community building through public-private cooperation.
Equally schools, adult education and community centres from each city, among other things, established electronic links within a joint learning city appreciation programme to help them understand the nature of the learning city and their place within it.
Links were established between Cultural Services Departments (libraries, museums, galleries and special interest groups) for the discussion and active creation of joint exhibitions and projects to bring learning city ideas to the notice of citizens.
Learning City Leaders (elected representatives, teachers, community leaders etc) were put in touch with each other across continents and created a training module for councillors in other cities.
The role of technology providers was also be explored in the context of the development of learning modules on effective uses of modern ICT for distance learning and collaborative learning within and between Learning Municipalities.
The City of Beijing joined at a later date to help it understand the learning city concept for a project it had identified within the city.

One of the seven participating city or regional partnerships with experience and knowledge of the subject led the development of a stakeholder project, assisted by one or two of the other partners.

A website was developed by the University of Auckland
Further dissemination took place at 3 seminars during the two year period, at least one in each participating continent, feeding into an already established global Learning Cities conference in Summer 2003. Outcomes included, in addition to the learning modules and exhibitions, good practice examples in all aspects of the project, continental networks of cities and competence centres capable of extending the work and of assisting cities to become learning cities, the nucleus of an expanding global network of Learning Cities to be formalised at the last of the seminars on Learning Cities,
Participating Institutions included
Europe – - Napier University, Edinburgh, UK (Coordinator and European event organiser) - City of Espoo, Finland working with the Finnish Learning Cities Network
- CEFEL (Centre de Formation de Elus) working with the township of
Sannois, France
Australia (South Australia) – Centre for Lifelong Learning and Development,
Adelaide, working with the City of Marion (Adelaide)and Suburb of Mawson Lakes, South Australia
Australia (Queensland) - Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane) working with North Lakes Development, Queensland University Community Education Department Sunset Primary School (Mt Isa) and the Learning Corridor

New Zealand – The City of Papakura working with Auckland University and adult
education organisations in the city of Auckland
Canada (Alberta – Knowledge Management International, Edmonton, working
with the Canadian Centre for Lifelong Learning and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Training
China - Beijing Acaademy of Educational Sciences

Thus these are partnerships between acknowledged centres of expertise with knowledge of learning cities working with schools, adult education centres, city and regional administrations, public/private partnerships and communities in each continent.

The project has followed the strategies described in the proposal in order to achieve its objectives. A project covering 4 continents and 8 cities will inevitably have to be managed differently from one that includes only European member states. Responsibility for completing the work has to be dispersed to the partners themselves and management guidance for the most part has to be fulfilled through email and frequent reports. Separate contracts were developed between the contractor and each partner. Each participating city has focussed on a different type of stakeholder and has been responsible for carrying out a sub-project within the overall project. Thus the South Australia partnership, initially led by the Centre for Lifelong Learning and development, Adelaide, and subsequently by the South Australian State Government Office, has concentrated on the role of the school in the learning city, as proposed. 14 schools in the state of South Australia have been involved as well as the cities of Marion and Mawson Lakes in the Adelaide area. Despite several changes of coordinator, representatives have attended, helped organise and presented experiences at all PALLACE seminars and conferences. Annexe 2a describes the schools and outlines the activities they have taken. It also provides a very positive final report from the Coordinator – this person is now a leading figure in the development of Mawson lakes as a global learning community. the Queensland partnership, led by the University of Queensland, has highlighted the role of public/private partnerships in the community as proposed, and organised a Learning Festival in the city of Mt Isa. Annex 3a describes the activities involved and the results. It has also cooperated with local organisations in the Brisbane area and the PALLACE coordinator has given additional seminars in the city – one of the local coordinators is now involved in the organisation of a UNESCO global conference on Learnig Communities in 2005 as a result of her experiences with PALLACE. the Alberta partnership, led by KMI, has concentrated on the development of learning communities in Canada and role of technology providers in that, as proposed. It has also organised the Canadian seminar/conference on the subject for Canadian cities and organisations, as well as attending, helping organise and presenting at all other international PALLACE events. Annexe 2g describes the activities undertaken in Canada, and this is supported by a disk of the outcomes of the seminar. The local coordinator is now President of the World Initiative on Lifelong Learning and hoping to organise PALLACE like projects on a global basis in the future the Finland partnership , led by Espoo City, developed a lifelong learning display for use in museums, libraries and other Cultural Services Organisations for the project, as proposed, and also involved the city’s IT department. Despite changes in personnel, representatives of the city of Espoo have attended, helped organise and presented at all PALLACE seminars and conferences. Experiences have also been communicated throughout Finland through the Finnish Learning Cities network. Annexe 2f shows results from this sub-project. The Papakura Lifelong Learning Trust helped to develop and test an adult education questionnaire to enable institutions to measure their commitment to the development of a learning city and also helped develop a course on lifelong learning for adults, as proposed. This is now in use in Auckland College of Education. Testing the tool place in Auckland College of Education. Working with Auckland University it also organised the first PALLACE conference in New Zealand and provided the expertise for website development. Personnel from the trust attended all PALLACe conferences and seminars. Annexe 2b shows their unbending commitment to PALLACE. the French partnership, led by CEFEL, focused on the role of councillors and elected representatives in the learning city, as proposed. It has attended, helped organise and presented at all PALLACE seminars and conferences, and the city of Sannois has organised a PALLACE workshop for local elected representatives using developed materials for the project. The City of Marion in SouthAustralia has used the same materials in English. CEFEL France has also cooperated with the New Zealand Papakura partnership on the role of Adult Education. Annexe 2d shows a fuller list of results and activities. An additional partner, Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences, was included at the request of Socrates, though none of the project’s financial resources have been allocated to this new partner. Beijing is currently making a feasibility study of the design of a neighbourhood lifelong learning centre and has both added to, and drawn from, the expertise within the project. It has attended, helped organise and presented at all PALLACE conference/seminars Annexe 2h shows the activities and results from Beijing. The Coordinating and evaluating organisation, Napier University, managed all aspects of the developent and implementationof the PALLACE programme. It helped organise, attended and presented at all the seminars and conferences and helped and encouraged partner organisations wwherever help was needed. It provided input for the website and managed the budget.. It was responsible for organising the European PALLACE seminar in Edinburgh, September 2003, cooperating with all parters in its conception and implementation.. Annexe 2e outlines the contribution of Napier. To progress the individual sub-projects each local partnership appointed a part-time researcher whose major function was to; a) Develop, implement and manage the project at the local and regional level and to participate in the international activities eg South Australia has established collaborative links between children, teachers and parents in schools in Queensland, Finland and South Australia to encourage the development of a greater understanding of the learning city and region, and to exchange ideas and knowledge on the role of schools in helping such an entity grow. b) Contribute to the development and maintenance of the website c) monitor local activity and ensure that it gave results that can be put into concrete outcomes Each city/region in the partnership also a) agreed the stakeholder focus and made the facilities available to the coordinator giving him/her a contact point within the city administration b) publicised the project within the city/region and encouraged the further participation of other organisations c) helped to disseminate details of the project and its results within its own area of influence d) helpd to organise the seminar in its own continent In this way all partners have brought their own strengths to the project and helping to enhance cooperation between Learning cities/regions All of this effort was managed, monitored and coordinated by the project manager from Napier University, mainly, because of the high travel costs, by electronic means, though personal visits haev also been made to all participating cities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. A series of benchmarks were set at six-monthly intervals to ensure project progress. Project meetings occured around the 3 seminar/conferences planned over the two year period. All meetings have already taken place (described above and in the annexe), and the opportunity was also taken by the project manager and evaluator to visit the sites of the partners in each continent and to monitor their progress.
Each sub-project generated a great deal of work from each partner as follows. A full report on each is given in the annexe to this document – The public/private partnerships in the community project (Queensland partnership) –South and West of Brisbane there is being created a 'Learning Corridor' - a scheme to encourage greater community involvement in Lifelong Learning and community activities. The four suburbs involved are different from each other in social composition, age, existing facilities and income, but they have the promotion and improvement of community life through active citizenship as a common aim. The University of Queensland helped this process in the older communities as a part of its PALLACE commitment. It also assisted a private company, Delfin/Lend-Lease Ltd, to design and build new communities in which lifelong learning concepts are embedded into the community concept. This breaks new ground and is a feature of new community development throughout Australia, often as a means of adding value to prospective residents. Educational experts are employed by the company as well as from the University. It required constant interaction between the public and private partners at many levels, many meetings and a standard of expertise above the normal. Annexe 2c describes the work in fuller detail. Queensland University has also added an extra dimension into its PALLACE contribution, having helped to organise, monitor and write a paper on the PALLACE ‘outback’ learning festival held in Mt Isa in the interior of Queensland. – – The schools cooperation project (South Australia with Espoo, Finland) Global schools networks are not new, but the network which South Australia put together was the first to involve children, teachers and parents in debate about the learning city and what schools can do to help create it. There is a huge add-on value to this in that it not only creates heightened awareness of what a learning city can be but also potentially mobilises hundreds of people to contribute to it. Its beauty is that the answers are coming from the future citizens themselves, and not being imposed upon them by others, which in our opinion, is a truer lifelong learning approach to education. The participating schools examined their relationship to the community and the things they could do to help it grow. As the results show much was achieved in South Australia, and especially in Mawson Lakes which was already well on the way to becoming one of Australia’s most advanced learning communities, and, through PALLACE, has achieved a global dimension. An add-on, which was perhaps not as well-developed as it could have been, was the links with Finnish schools. Much happened in this but, because of changes in personnel in both partnerships, it has been difficult to quantify. This cooperation is however still on-going. An additional dimension was afforded in 3 regional PALLACE seminars in the cities of Salisbury, Marion and Mawson Lakes led by the project coordinator and coinciding in the Salisbury with the launch of a learning city strategy. Annexe 2a to this report gives full details of the schools involved and the other activities connected with PALLACE in South Australia. – – The Adult education project (Papakura, New Zealand with Sannois, France)– The Adult Education project led by Papakura/Auckland was responsible for organising, in conjunction with the project coordinator and other partners, the Australasian regional conference of PALLACE. To this it attracted 100 senior decision–makers from local and national Government, including the New Zealand Minister of Education, to discuss the topic of Learning Cities, a concept new to New Zealand, if not to Australia. In addition the New Zealand partner has helped to develop and use a tool through which students and staff in Adult Education colleges can engage in debate about what such an institution and its people can do to help transform their own city into a learning city, as well as helping to develop a course for Adult Education now in use in Auckland. The tool, the course and the work that has gone around them is described in greater detail in annexe 2b. They have been tested in Auckland and, as in the proposal, elements of a french version were also delivered at the Sannois workshop in France. The outcome gives not only new insights among the participants, but also in the ways in which they will use those insights in a practical way. However the New Zealand partner has gone way beyond these basic commitments to the PALLACE project. It has developed the PALLACE website ( and turned it into one of the most sophisticated lifelong learning resources in the Southern hemisphere. These activities are further outlined in annexe 2a. – The Lifelong learning for city councillors project (Sannois/CEFEL with South Australia) A Learning City needs Leadership and that was the theme of CEFEL’s project for elected representatives. CEFEL is the French national organisation for the training of councillors at town and city level. Alain Bournazel, its President, is making use of a web-delivered training facility, partly developed through the PALLACE project, to disseminate materials and exercises that councillors and organisations in a city can use to familiarise themselves with the concepts and the changes needed in the journey towards becoming a true Learning City. These materials, which are shown in more detail in annexe 2d, use a ‘learning to learn’ approach which involves the learner in the subject matter and gives him/her ownership of it. The city of Marion in South Australia also tried some of the materials. In this sub-project, we also gained some insight into the difficulties of communicating across language and culture boundaries. CEFEL too, inspired by PALLACE, has increased its basic commitment to the project by writing an innovative paper on Adult Education in France and its needs for the future (France is cooperating with New Zealand in the Adult Education sub-project. This is one of the outputs of the project and is also shown in annexe 2d. – The PALLACE Alberta Project (KMI and NAITT, Alberta) – The Albertan partner, KMI, has used its knowledge of the ‘smart city’ concept, so prevalent in North America, to help create knowledge of the ‘smarter city’, demonstrating that, while technology has an important place in the development of ‘learning cities’, there are other, sometimes more important considerations to be taken into account. Accordingly, after broadcasting a world-wide webcast session on PALLACE and the uses of technology in April 2003, KMI has turned its attention to the wider implications of developing awareness of the learning city in Canada, where the concept is hardly at all known. It helped to organise and deliver a seminar/conference on learning cities and communities in Victoria, British Columbia, and organised the final PALLACE seminar/conference in Devon, near Edmonton in June 2004. The approach to this was different from other conferences in that it comprised a ‘learning’ approach in which the delegates, including the PALLACE partners, brought their own expertise and synthesised it into the concepts of the learning city. Annexe 2g gives details of what KMI, in connection with its Canadian partner, has done. – The Cultural Services project (City of Espoo, Finland and the Finnish Learning Cities Network) –The City of Espoo is one of the world's foremost learning cities. Here the objective of its part in PALLACE has been to engage museums, libraries and galleries in debate about their own contribution to the development of lifelong learning in the city. The result of this is an attractively presented display about the learning city and the place of the arts and education in it, and what the citizen can do to further it. A further sub-project links this to IT in the city’s schools, and to the South Australia schools project.. Again, interactivity is a feature of Espoo’s contribution to PALLACE. The display has been on show in one of Espoo’s museums Annexe 2f gives further details. – The Lifelong Learning Centre project (Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences) – This additional PALLACE project incorporated the efforts of the City of Beijing to establish a lifelong learning centre in a suburb of 800,000 people. It explored creative and innovative ways of bringing together the different sectors such as schools, adult education, business and industry, community organisations, the city and district administrations into one huge facility that will promote and deliver lifelong learning, reaching out to street level. Beijing learned much from the other PALLACE sub-projects and also contributed much to the learning of others through this ambitious programme, which should reveal much about how people can be persuaded to become active lifelong learning citizens. The output is shown in annexe 2h As the above shows three international seminars, one in each continent, were developed and implemented during the lifetime of the project, as well as a high number (more than 20) of local PALLACE workshops and seminars, unanticipated in the proposal. These have been used to disseminate knowledge of PALLACE project activities and insights into learning city concepts, and to establish
Outputs and products are described above in connection with the partner sub-projects and in the summaries in 2A above. They are also listed in 2C below. They will be freely available and uncopy-righted beyond the basic requirements of the European Commission’s projects. Neither are plans being made to commercialise the products. Knowledge of PALLACE and its objectives have been disseminated to the target groups of city leaders and administrators, all public sector institutions and others in the following ways. a) Through the internet – the figure of PALLACE website hits of more than 20000 people and 100000 downloads speaks for itself. It can only increase. All results will continue to be downloadable from the main PALLACE web-site and links are established from the websites of each partner. Since the materials developd are in the form of e-learning courses, this will make assimilation easier. Other international local government web-sites such as Logov, Eurocities, Educating Cities, Solace, EAAE etc, are invited to make web-links to these sites, and particularly the newTELS network which has a direct interest in the new knowledge produced by this project. b) Through the local and international seminars and field-tests built into the proposal. More than 500 key decision makers have been made aware of the benefits of the learning city in these. The field tests have engaged schools, adult education colleges, councillors, cultural service departments, community workers etc into the loop, and locally developed seminars after the PALLACE project will expand these target audiences. c) Through articles written publicising the project, its activities and the materials in National and International Municipal organisations' journals. Already the PALLACE project is well-known through its publicity in New Horizons and UNESCO journals d) With the brochures to the distribution list for all PALLACE conferences. Even those who were not able to attend have been made aware of PALLACE and its work. e) Through papers and presentations in learned journals and at conferences, such as the OECD Global Learning Cities conference in Melbourne 2003, where the PALLACE project and concept was exceptionally well-received and the forthcoming UNESCO Global Learning Communities conference in Brisbane 2005.
Back references from Related Project(s) in Weblink: