General information

Horizon 2020: “Smart Cities Learning”

@ Alpine Rendez-Vous 2013

(Villard - de - Lans, Vercors, French Alps)

From the Far East, to the Americas and to Europe, cities, villages and their surroundings are evolving towards a new dimension in which the info infrastructure becomes an indispensable asset of our life, contributes to the development of info-ecosystems embracing 'smart mobility and last-mile logistics', 'smart health', 'smart government', 'smart culture and tourism', the sustainability of the natural resources and the green economy. Such integrated effort of info-urbanism is expected to produces social innovation and, inevitably, leads to wonder about what forms can take the smart education underlined by all pieces that compose the mosaic of the info-ecosystems.
The virtual infrastructure - web and mobile - will be integrated more closely with the physical landscape - internet of thing and sensible physical places - incorporating the latter into a complex ecosystem which will bring forward opportunities to learn from everyday life. Technologies, increasingly embedded into the everyday spaces and artefacts, will make the places not only more sensitive but also responsive and, potentially, coevolutionary (TEP - Technology Enhanced Places) will give rise to new landscapes in which one can experiment, seamless, the integration of physicality and virtuality.
The person, considered in all her/his complexity, will be placed at the center of educational contexts and scenarios increasingly ubiquitous, complex, organic.  Scenarios where the mediating role of technology will widen over the time to: foster relationships with the natural environments, filter content needed to support meaningful experiences at glocal level, disclose feedback necessary to learn how to manage 'in action', the complexity of static and dynamic, of learning contexts and processes.

In this scenario many questions arise and wait for answers and solutions, among them:

• Through which educational path will everyone, and especially youths, become “participatorly” aware citizens of the future 'SimCities'?

• How will we learn from the open books that are represented by cities of art, parks, agro-tech and industrial/productive districts ?

• How will data flowing from sensorised areas and personal devices will be elaborated to support awareness and continuous learning?

• How will our behaviour be influenced by knowledge of co-evolution mechanisms and limits of the ecosystems?

• Will the educational infrastructure be smart enough to readjust, even “autopoietically”, to satisfy the needs that everyone could develop life long, in different contexts?

• Would 'smart cities learning' help to reinforce social inclusion and a common sense of belonging ?


The theme of the transformation of the learning modalities that may be induced by the transformation of living places in smart territories, cities and villages is a new theme whose relevance will grow more and more in the near future. Just think of the Horizon 2020 objectives, of the European calls on 'smart cities' and of how little the projects under development so far has reflected on the issues of smart cities learning and learning transformation induced by smart cities.
With this proposal we intends to follow up the work that we have just started with the third track of the Front-TEL School and that will continue in september 2012 with the SCiLearn workshop held in conjunction with ICWL 2012. 
With 'Horizon 2020: 'Smart Learning Cities'', in fact, we want to take a step further and move from a one-day 'think tank' to a multiple-days 'design tank' that we expect may represent a seed able to foster the development of an European task force dedicated to the theme.