About Fab City plymouth
About Fab City Plymouth
To date Plymouth College of Art, University of Plymouth, Real Ideas and Plymouth Culture, with the backing and support of Plymouth City Council, have led the collaboration to become the first UK Fab City.
In 2019 Plymouth joined a network of cities, regions and countries that have pledged to work towards producing nearly everything they consume by 2054. We strongly believe that Plymouth already has the necessary components to be a Fab City. From Fab Labs to repair cafes, from social enterprise city to climate emergency action plans and from sustainable buildings to rewilding, we have an abundance of dedicated people and innovative initiatives contributing to the Fab City vision.
Lindsey Hall, CEO of Real Ideas and co-Chair of Plymouth’s Inclusive Growth Group, said;
“Being the UK’s first Fab City is timely recognition of the commitment made by public, private and third sector organisations in Plymouth to work towards inclusive economic growth that makes our city fairer and more sustainable for all the people who live, work and visit.”
“As a city of makers, we are innovating and making new futures across the board, from cutting edge immersive technologies, digital fabrication and the Smart Sound to community breweries, making spaces and reducing food waste. Being part of a global network is an important next step. Real Ideas is delighted to be a key partner and are particularly excited that our new inclusive growth leadership programme comes at an ideal moment to contribute to achieving the pledge.”
As a city of makers, we are innovating and making new futures across the board.
Stephanie Owens, Head of School, School of Art + Media at Plymouth College of Art said of the initiative:
“It is vital that artists and makers of all types see themselves as net contributors to the ways in which we collectively address the ecological and economic challenges of our time. Plymouth College of Art recognised very early that joining with global partners through Fab City would mobilise notions of art, industry and citizenship that could catalyse new ideas in addressing these challenges at a local level.
We are encouraged by the growing momentum across the city and emerging initiatives in Plymouth that have embraced the Fab City 2054 pledge. As founders of Plymouth’s first Fab Lab and home to a community of creative practitioners and cultural innovators, we are committed to building relationships that strengthen our specialism in digital fabrication, sustainable design, citizen engagement, and our creative curriculum. We give students the opportunity to turn their studios inside out—to understand the studio of the future more broadly, as the space of the city, their neighbourhood and their world.”
There is a growing momentum across the city and emerging initiatives in Plymouth that have embraced the Fab City 2054 pledge
The Fab City movement necessarily sets out a lofty ambition – an ambition Plymouth is very well placed to meet.
As a peripheral city with a strong DIY culture, we have pioneering city policy, a leading manufacturing industrial base, celebrated community business and social enterprise sectors, rapid growth creative and digital clusters and, a green and blue bioregion that is the envy of anywhere in the world. How can this continue to come together to meet our collective needs in the decade to come?
While COVID-19 delayed Fab City Plymouth over 2020, it also did something even more important: it underlined the importance of local self-sufficiency, mutual aid and innovation – this is what Fab City is all about. COVID also shone a light on and highlighted the key challenges of our age – inequalities and the ever-looming environmental breakdown and climate disaster. Challenges to which the Fab City movement seeks to bring practical solutions.
Who is Fab City For?
Starting in Barcelona in 2014, and originally growing out of the FabLab rapid prototyping movement, Fab City is for everyone.
It covers everything from food to farming, from manufacturing to making, from creativity to culture, from the government to academia, business and communities. It asks ‘how can we make the best use of the resources on our doorstep and fully realise the social, economic and environmental benefits of a more circular economy?’
Fab City belongs to everyone in Plymouth and as a partnership we are keen to spread the message and empower individuals and organisations to drive forward this transformational project by coming together as a community to shape the future Plymouth.
Professor Chris Bennewith, Head of the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth, added;
“This is another example of creative collaboration helping to put Plymouth on the global map as a centre for innovation and ingenuity. Through initiatives such as this, and the iMayflower project announced last year, the city is showing it has the ambition and expertise to keep transforming itself and the people who live, work, study and visit here.”
“The University of Plymouth has always prided itself on interdisciplinary research and teaching that has individual and collective sustainability and social responsibility at its core. Our pioneering work on Smart Cities, Big Data, energy and transport – as well as our current investment in a DigiFab Lab – will expand this and ensure Plymouth remains at the forefront of innovation in this area.”
This is another example of creative collaboration helping to put Plymouth on the global map as a centre for innovation and ingenuity.