The FAB City is a global project to develop locally productive and globally connected self-sufficient cities. It is a decentralised and open format project.
FAB City is a new urban model of transforming and shaping cities that shifts how they source and use materials from ‘Products In Trash Out’ (PITO) to ‘Data In Data Out’ (DIDO). This means that more production occurs inside the city, along with recycling materials and meeting local needs through local inventiveness. A city’s imports and exports would mostly be found in the form of data (information, knowledge, design, code).
The Fab City project was launched in 2011 at the FAB7 conference in Lima by the Institut d’Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya, the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, the Fab Foundation and the Barcelona City Council. This initiative is open for other cities, towns or communities to join in order to collectively build a more human and inhabitable new world, and join the Barcelona pledge: a countdown for cities to become self-sufficient by 2054.
In 2015 4 more cities and 2 countries joined the FAB Cities initiative at the global meeting FAB11 at the MIT. Amsterdam recently joined in during the FAB City Summit held in the Netherlands in April 2016.
The first beneficiaries of the Fab City project will be the citizens of the cities that join the initiative and the global network of makers that develop solutions for urban problems. However, we aim to have a bigger impact in other communities of innovation since the Fab City is an open source project, which makes all the content produced available to the general public.
The Fab City project will help civic leaders develop locally productive cities in collaboration with global networks of makers. Fab Lab innovators will find a channel for their inventions to connect to real problems, opening opportunities for businesses, research and education through projects. Our aim is to enable makers produce change in cities that could be measured in a common index.
A Fab Lab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. A Fab Lab is also a platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor and to invent. For a complete description of fab labs we invite you to visit the Fab Foundation website, and to have an idea of how the fab lab network works you can visit http://fablabs.io/.
The main structure of a FAB City consists in having a distributed responsive network of Fab Labs, placed among the urban area to guarantee access to digital fabrication technology for every citizen. Using their network as the main connector for the makerspace, cities can promote a series of solutions both from bottom up and top down.
In fablabs.io you can find your nearest Fab Lab. Go there and discover all you can do!