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>> According to Marleen Stikker, founder and director of

Waag Society which is home to Fab Lab Amsterdam, Fab City shows that the combination of the maker movement and circular economy are presenting solid alternatives that are ready to scale. ‘The shared starting point is that we have to take responsibility for our own behaviour’, she explains. ‘We cannot wait for systems to change. We have to be the change. This Do-It-Ourselves or rather Do-It-Together mentality unleashes a powerful dynamic in society. It shows that civic movements are at the heart of change. We need an innovation paradigm shift. Not shareholders value but social value, open instead of closed, cooperative instead of competitive. Smart citizens instead of smart cities.’

WE CANNOT WAIT FOR SYSTEMS TO CHANGE, WE HAVE TO DO IT OURSELVES The Fab City approach can contribute to achieving a range of city objectives. It helps civic leaders to develop locally productive cities in collaboration with local communities, companies, and institutions by revitalising manufacturing infrastructure and incentivising a new economy. Fab Lab and makerspace-based innovations could be a source for solutions to connect to real problems in cities, opening opportunities for businesses, research and education through projects in the digital realm. In this approach, citizens and cities are empowered to be the masters of their own destiny as their resilience is increased. With the circulation of materials and associated energy consumption, a more ecological system is developed in which carbon emissions - typical for the current economy - are drastically reduced; atoms stay in cities while bits travel globally. In order to make this happen, the city must be locally productive and globally connected to knowledge, economic and social networks. In this connection, the cooperation between cities, citizens, and knowledge centres form the basis of the scientific knowledge.

A concerted and coordinated response must be made to reimagine how, where and what we make if we are to live harmoniously within the bounds of the planet’s resources. Fab City proposes a model for cities to be resilient, productive and self-sufficient in order to respond to the challenges of our times. It also proposes the recovery of knowledge and the capacity to make things, to produce energy, to harvest food and to understand the flow of matter, in order to empower its citizens to be the leading agents of their own destiny. The Fab City is about radical transformation. It is about rethinking and changing our relationship with the material world, in order to continue to flourish on this planet. ••

Christel van de Craats programme maker Sustainability at Pakhuis de Zwijger Tomas Diez director Fab Lab Barcelona & Fab City Research Lab


Profile for Pakhuis de Zwijger

New Amsterdam #10  

New Democracy | 10 years Pakhuis de Zwijger | Maakplaats 021 | FabCity Movement | Global Parliament of Mayors | Equal Access | Humans of Ams...

New Amsterdam #10  

New Democracy | 10 years Pakhuis de Zwijger | Maakplaats 021 | FabCity Movement | Global Parliament of Mayors | Equal Access | Humans of Ams...