The Global Knowledge Cities Concept: Local-Global Solutions to Social, Economic, and Ecological Crises

Ad de Rooij, Claudia Matta, Maurits van Rooijen, Herman A. Karl, Jamuna Mishra


In this article, an interdisciplinary, multicultural group of authors develop an innovative concept for an integrated view on solving the present social, economic, and ecological crises. To compose this concept, “hardware building blocks” have been used, i.e., experiences from past decades with ecovillages and garden cities. For “software building blocks,” we have used the recently formulated visions on the relation between climate change, citizen participation, social learning, and non-hierarchical governance. Each of these building blocks is described by one of the co-authors. At the end of the article, as a synthesis of conclusions of both theoretical and practical nature and through the case study of  experiences with starting the first prototype in Khajuraho, India, a general structure is formulated for supporting multiple co-learning engagements on the local level of cities and communities in east and west, north and south. The hypothesis is that the integration of these learning experiences may solve global social, economic, and ecological crises on local scales. The outcome of this long-term and multi-level learning process is called “global knowledge,” and the cities in which such learning takes hold are global knowledge cities.

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