We’re a global initiative for productive, resilient, open cities.
Climate breakdown and social exclusion require us to reinvent the fundamental systems we depend upon, a task which requires courage, coherence and long-term thinking. Humans consume planetary resources at a rate that puts planetary systems at risk. We need a deep transformation of how we organise production and consumption in cities.
Fab City started as a challenge for a city to produce (almost) everything it consumes. The provocation has grown into a global movement, which is facilitated by the Fab City Foundation, a Network of cities and a Collective of experts.
Why a ‘Fab’ City?
The Fab City global initiative builds on the global network of Fab Labs. A Fab Lab is a domestic scale fabrication laboratory, founded by researchers at MIT in Boston, that provides access to the tools and knowledge to ‘make anything’. 2000 Fab Labs across the globe form a distributed infrastructure and global community which supports the global movement of ‘bits’ while ‘atoms’ stay local.
PITO to DIDO
Fab City builds on the ideals of the Fab Lab such as connectivity, culture, glocalism and creativity, and scales it to the City. It implements the logic ‘from bits to atoms’ at the urban scale using the model: PITO (Product In Trash Out) to DIDO (Data In Data Out). sustainable ecosystem of production and knowledge: from the 3D printer at home, to the neighborhood Fab Lab, to a local factory global logistics infrastructure.
Our Strategic Action Plan
There is no one single approach to enabling a city that thrives on its own resourcefulness and productive capacity. Fab City global initiative recognises that each locality is unique in cultural, social and materials resources. The Fab City Strategic Action Plan was developed as a framework to guide cities to explore, identify and prototype local productivity that reflects and benefits their own city and corresponding bioregion.
The Fab City Foundation hosts guidance sessions and bootcamps to get to know the SAP, keep an eye on the events page for more information or subscribe to our newsletter.
The Fab City Network
At the core of the Fab City initiative, is a global network of cities, regions and localities who work towards resiliency through situated prototypes of productive cities that respond to the local context. Each local effort comprises city leaders, Fab Labs and civic organisations who collaborate in their territories, and at distance with the network through annual programming. The Network members have pledged to join the challenge at our yearly Summit.
The Fab City Collective
Urbanists, designers, makers, innovators, artists, developers, engineers, and other professionals and enthusiasts around the world who steward the ideas of Fab City within their own work and likeminded organisations. Members of the Collective support Fab City projects at the local level and contribute to knowledge transfer across the global initiative.
The Collective is dynamic and self-organised, it is not fixed by membership and can be open to new collaborators. It is not currently possible to join the Collective.
Fab City Foundation
Established in 2018, the Fab City Foundation supports the global initiative through the development of projects and educational programs that are focused on building the capacity of cities and their communities. Based in e-Estonia, the Foundation is location independent and supports distributed programs as well as projects in both hemispheres.
Our Roadmap is unique. Launched in 2011 by the City of Barcelona, it is now in constant development thanks to the distributed network of cities, individual advocates, NGOs, academics and industry partners.
2011 – Paris
Fab7 International ConferenceThe Fab City project is launched by the Institut d’Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya, the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, the Fab Foundation and the Barcelona City Council.
2014 – Paris
Fab10 International ConferenceBarcelona launches officially the FAB City project / Mayor Trias commit to the 40 year challenge / The first public network of Fab Labs in a city is launched
2015 – Paris
Fab11 International Fab Lab ConferenceThe Fab City becomes a global initiative / The cities of Boston, Ekurhuleni, Cambridge, Shenzhen, Somerville join / The state of Kerala (India) joins / The country of Georgia joins
2015 – Paris
Amsterdam Fab City CampusEurope by People: The Netherlands host the presidency of the European Union / The first Fab City experts summit in Amsterdam / The City of Amsterdam commits to the Fab City global initiative-
2016 – Paris
Shenzhen: The silicon valley of Hardware12th International Fab Lab Conference / Cities joining the Fab City global initiative: Detroit, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Bhutan, Occitanie, Sacramento, Toulouse.
2017 – Paris
Chile. Fab13: Fabricating Society13th International Fab Lab Conference: Fab13: Fabricating Society / Fab City Campus Santiago de Chile / Fab City Summit Copenhagen
2018 – Paris
France. Fab14: Fabricating Resilience14th International Fab Lab Conference: Fab14: Fabricating Resilience / Fab City Campus Parc de La Villete / Fab City Summit Paris
2019 – Amsterdam
FAB CITY SUMMIT AT THE WE MAKE THE CITY FESTIVALThe Fab City Summit was held in Amsterdam at Urban Conference We Make The City Festival in June 2019.
2020 – Online
The Distributed Fab City Summit 2020, from Emergency to Resilience - Broadcasting from Barcelona!The global pandemic forces the annual Fab City Summit online. Participants join from over eight time zones in a distributed two-day program.