Sustainable, healthy, learning cities and neighbourhoods [chapter]

Sohail Ahmad, University of Glasgow, Gideon Baffoe, Ramjee Bhandari, Graeme Young, Michael Osborne, University of Glasgow, University of Glasgow, University of Glasgow, University of Glasgow
2021 Learning for a Better Future: Perspectives on Higher Education, Cities, Business & Civil Society  
Peer review declaration The publisher (AOSIS) endorses the South African 'National Scholarly Book Publishers Forum Best Practice for Peer Review of Scholarly Books.' The manuscript was subjected to rigorous two-step peer review prior to publication, with the identities of the reviewers not revealed to the author(s). The reviewers were independent of the publisher and/or authors in question. The reviewers commented positively on the scholarly merits of the manuscript and recommended that the
more » ... script be published. Where the reviewers recommended revision and/or improvements to the manuscript, the authors responded adequately to such recommendations. Research Justification Various international scholars and associates of the PASCAL (Place, Social Capital and Learning Regions) International Observatory (Africa hub) under the auspices of the Centre for Local Economic Development (CENLED), University of Johannesburg, have contributed chapters in this scholarly book. This scholarly book aims to demonstrate how a combination of globalisation, pandemics and the impact of innovation and technologies are driving towards a world in which traditional ideas are being challenged. The authors demonstrate a perplexing scene of ambiguity and confusion. These challenges filter down to the level of cities and smaller communities. They affect both urban and rural areas. The book is timely because of major recent developments in each of these contexts, for example: rethinking the role of universities, their relationships with other stakeholders such as business, civil society and policy makers, rethinking the interface between urban and rural areas and building connections at various levels that facilitate and support the aspirations of individuals. The book has implications of new concepts that attempt to bridge this rapidly changing mix, such as building entrepreneurial learning cities. The book unlocks the potential of a substantial agenda for researchers at universities to support innovative attempts to find new ways to achieve just, sustainable local economic development. While this will require considerable action and innovation at the local and regional levels, it will also require building global consciousness and empathy in progressing towards a sustainable world. This scientific work heightens the relevance in regards to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) to be achieved by 2030. The book carries forward a dual context and relevance: to South African social, educational, economic and cultural development, and the broader international context and action directed towards how lifelong learning for all can be fostered in communities as a foundation for a just, humancentred, sustainable world. The distinctive contribution of this book to the production of a local development body of knowledge lies in the symbiotic relationships between these objectives so that South Africa could serve as a test case in working towards approaches that have a wider international significance. The chapter contributors used the necessary research methodologies applicable in this field of specialisation to strengthen each chapter. In conclusion, this book is action-oriented in its recommendations, which seek to empower scholars to implement or explore local development in their communities and work environments across subjects such as higher education, the SDGs, promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, fostering cultural relations between cities, supporting the UNESCO Call to Action in building green, healthy, learning cities, promoting happiness and well-being and generally encouraging partnerships for local development. AOSIS ensured through the editorial processes that the first 10 chapters were subjected to an authentication process to curb plagiarism and/or replication. Chapter 11 is based on the author's research and practice with regard to Age-Friendly Universities (AFU) since 2013. Documents from his work are available at The author was responsible for developing the concept of AFU in the University of Strathclyde in partnership with Dublin City University and is part of a group of universities promoting AFU ideas and principles. Chapter 11 is mainly based on the reworking of his article 'Promoting Age-Friendly Universities which are Sustainable and Open to All: A New Challenge for the Academy?', published in the Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning in 2018. For the purpose of this book, the author develops the AFU theme in more depth targeting an audience different from that intended for the chapter and journal. The published article was based on a conference paper and was written for practitioners working in the field of lifelong learning. In this scholarly book, the author targets researchers working across various sectors and involved in promoting learning in cities. The goal of the reworked chapter is to interact with peers by presenting new ideas aimed at urban regeneration and city development. The two case studies, which form a substantial part of the chapter, flow from the author's research interest fields before he retired from the
doi:10.4102/aosis.2021.bk214.02 fatcat:aigm5jadaffvjmx5xmgl3ausea