Plymouth is the first UK city to join the Fab City network of cities who have pledged to produce everything they consume by 2054.
The Fab City Global Initiative was launched in 2016 and now includes 34 cities, regions and countries, including Detroit, Amsterdam, Bhutan, Shenzhen, Ekurhuleni, Santiago de Chile, Boston and Paris.
It was created to help cities establish new urban systems that are sustainable and encourage city leaders to work innovatively to meet progressive social, economic, governance and sustainable development goals.
Plymouth will have access to ‘The Fab City Prototype’, which is a large scale digital demonstrator that allows experimentation with end-users and local ecosystems.
Signatories to the Fab City manifesto agree to implement ten principles to enable the urban transition towards locally productive and globally connected cities.
These include a commitment to what they call ‘glocalism’ – a focus on producing locally but encouraging the sharing of global knowledge.
The University of Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth City Council and the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) have signed the pledge on behalf of the city.
Professor Chris Bennewith, head of the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth, said: ‘This is another example of creative collaboration helping to put Plymouth on the global map as a centre for innovation and ingenuity.
‘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 Digital Fabrication Lab – will expand this and ensure Plymouth remains at the forefront of innovation in this area.’
Leader of Plymouth City Council Tudor Evans said: ‘Being a Fab City means we can work more together with other cities to learn from each other, share ideas and research to resolve problems we all face.’
In February, Plymouth City Council announced plans to set up a £1.2m fund to help local people set up co-operatives and mutuals.
According to the council, there are 23 co-operative enterprises already based in Plymouth with a combined turnover of £18.6 million and membership of over 9,500 people.
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