AMS Spring 2023

Fab City

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Fab City London

Through exploration and various twist and turns that symbolize London and its city, I stumbled upon an interesting organization. Fab City is looking to build a global network of cities focused on sustainable living practices. The intent of the collective is to plan towards realistic localized production and cities being self-sufficient. It is an interesting value proposition.

The Fab City Movement is based on its core Manifesto document. These are the following core tenets of the Manifesto:

  1. Ecological
  2. Inclusive
  3. Globalism
  4. Participatory
  5. Economic Growth and Development
  6. Locally Productive
  7. People Centered
  8. Holistic
  9. Open Source Philosophy
  10. Experimental

For their ecological category, they want to take an integrated approach towards environmental stewardship. The ideal to work towards is a zero-emission future. This ideally will help in preserving biodiversity, re-balancing the nutrient cycle, and sustaining natural resources.

For inclusive purposes, they promote equitable and inclusive policy co-design. This is done through the development of a Commons Approach. A Commons Approach refers to the democratic governance of knowledge for the common good and identifies knowledge as a shared resource that is a collective responsibility. It emphasizes equitable access to knowledge resources such as health-care, the need to prioritize ecological sustainability in knowledge policy and to promote participation in the management of an open and democratic Internet. This would be done on the basis of equity for all with no bias in age, gender, and income levels.

They have a focus on global knowledge naturally with their Commons approach. The sharing of knowledge among different cities and territories in order to provide access to tools and solutions can be adapted to local cultures and needs.

Fab City Global Network

They are also engaging with all parties involved through participatory means. This includes making sure that everyone is aware of different decision-making processes embedded within this network. This allows cities to ideally be in charge of innovation and change throughout their cities.

Economic growth of sustainable urban cities will be done through investing in building skillsets and the infrastructure needed. There will also be a forward-thinking mindset for policymakers within the context of the 21st century. This will be done through a consideration of social and environmental occurrences. There will ideally be a focus on the policy of the “polluter pays principle”.

A locally productive citiy will support the ideas of efficiency through shared use of all local available resources. This will be thought of through a circular economy approach. This will help build a productive city within production constraints.

This will be giving priority to people and culture over technology. Technology is a great tool, but their beliefs are that a city must be resilient based on its inhabitants. Autonomous vehicles, digital tools, artificial intelligence and robotic machines must be placed at the service of people.

Open Source Mentality

The holistic approach focuses on urban issues within their various dimensions and interdependent causes. This is ideal for building towards sustainability and having a resilient city for all of its citizens.

An open source philosophy fosters a Digital Commons Approach. This adheres to open source principles and the value of open source data. This allows cities to stimulate innovation and develop shared solutions among cities within the network.

Lastly, In order to meet the principles just outlined, they are actively supporting the research, experimentation, and deployment of innovation. This can include things such as: low impact supply chains; distributed production; renewable energy and smart grids; sustainable food and urban agriculture; recycling and reuse of materials, sustainable resource management for energy, food and materials.

After reading through the Manifesto document, I have a lot of questions. What are actual steps being done currently to build toward this ideal? Generally, there tends to be a large amount of social activism when associated with technology. People who are politically on one side of a spectrum tend to come from a technical background. I think it is interesting to hear about this exciting organization and what they are doing. Fabrication labs are vital in this type of setting. I am interested to follow this organization and what they are doing in the current day to achieve their goals.

Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

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