The Global Fab City initiative is an innovative worldwide infrastructure and a source for knowledge. Its goal is to propose new urban, economic, and industrial models enabling cities to locally produce most of what they consume. Connected to a global network of cities and territories that are implementing similar strategies, Fab City contributes to a knowledge base documenting strategies and good practices to help build more resilient territories. The project was launched in 2014 by IAAC Fab Lab Barcelona, the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, the city of Barcelona, and the Fab Foundation.
Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole offered to support its territory’s candidacy to join the international initiative, leveraging a dense network of workshops, fablabs, and stakeholders innovating in recycling and upcycling.
Montpellier’s application was accepted, and the ceremony marked the official integration of Montpellier Métropole into the network, alongside other ecosystem stakeholders who had gotten together to create a consortium. Held on August 13-15, 2021, in Montreal, the event was part of the Fab City Summit, which serves as the annual meeting place for the Fab City network. The Summit is an international gathering of experts and communities interested in the circular economy, innovation, urbanization, digital manufacturing, new business models, and civic engagement, as well as #sustainable design and production methods. The Montpellier area features a high concentration of #fablabs. Today, this innovative ecosystem is well established in the metropolitan area with fab labs, makerspaces, and digital manufacturing workshops.
A consortium was created and took action to promote the effort. There are now 13 organizations operating locally: Obilab IUT Montpellier-Sète, PRO 3D UM, Fablab 34BIS Sanofi, Station M UIMM, Fabrique ENSAM, Usine 34, Labsud, Récup'So, Kuve la Passerelle, Menuiserie Collaborative, EPF Montpellier, Repair Café Montpellier, and Lezprit Réquipe
. Now officially a Fab City, along with 40 other cities and territories around the world, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole has taken an innovative new direction based on fab lab values: connectivity through inclusion, culture, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit. Metropolitan authorities plan to apply these values to a broader network that includes all types of citizen and entrepreneurial initiatives committed to rebuilding industrial, artisan, food, and energy production.
This world-class program seeks to help cities and territories act locally in cooperation with others in order to meet challenges related to production, recycling, and local manufacturing, while also instilling a responsive and creative innovation culture.