CENTRINNO, a Fab City experiment in historic industrial areas

Emerging as an alternative approach to the current urban model, Fab City aims at fostering more sustainable, globally connected, and locally productive cities and regions. CENTRINNO builds on the Fab City vision to explore the potential of a “new industrial revolution” that has citizens at its core, focusing on the role of industrial historic areas, and the potential to reintroduce manufacturing in urban areas using a circular economy approach.

Cities are complex systems, each of them with a different past and potential futures, influenced by different interrelated groups of people and interests. Even though many of these cities are nowadays interconnected, each urban area had a specific development process with its own specific characteristics, influenced by the local culture, its society and past events. Fab Cities develop local strategies suited to their own context while partially adapting specific initiatives that they learn through a global network for knowledge sharing. CENTRINNO works on of nine cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Blönduós, Copenhagen, Geneva, Milan, Paris, Tallinn, Zagreb.

Focusing on industrial historic sites is a strategic decision. These areas once hosted productive activities and, even though society and technology have changed through time, understanding the past of productive areas is key to foresee the potential for productive activities in the future. Moreover, many of these areas have been under deep transformation processes in European cities, becoming places where industrial fabric has led to the coexistence of many different land-uses nowadays. This offers a great potential to experiment with the future of productive activities in cities, overcoming the modern paradigm of land use separation and moving towards a more mixed city.

The Fab City Full Stack is the operational and strategic framework of the Fab City Global Initiative. It is an experimental work that the Fab City Global Initiative constantly updates for cities and regions within the Fab City network to test and experiment activities towards a more productive and sustainable urban future. The Fab City Full Stack is organized in seven layers, from Distributed Infrastructure for Local Production to Knowledge Sharing Global Digital Ecosystems. These layers offer simultaneous opportunities to deploy the Fab City vision in the territory, with a strong focus on bottom-up processes.

Fab Cities use the Full Stack to plan initiatives towards an inclusive and sustainable shift in their production-consumption patterns. It is based on a platform-understanding of cities, each platform containing different sets of actors, technologies, spaces, and tools, and at the same time interrelated with each other. The Fab City Full Stack aims at providing guidelines to structure initiatives to understand what resources a city already has, which resources would need to develop, and which existing resources could be used in a different way to foster productive, sustainable and manufacturing activities.

CENTRINNO's pilot cities activities can also be framed under one or several of these layers. The CENTRINNO Framework has in mind this layer structure, devising connections between the different resources developed in the project with the different layers of the Fab City Full Stack. Most of the action in the project takes place between the development of distributed infrastructure for local production and shared urban and territorial strategies, being the main interface to achieve this the Fab City Hubs. Nevertheless, the project also experiments with new forms of learning for skills of the future (CENTRINNO School), or new networks of communities and citizens (CENTRINNO Network). Finally, some of the projects overarching outcomes, such as the Cartography and the Living Archive, will become knowledge sharing digital ecosystems that support other cities in the future.

The Fab City Full Stack is constantly evolving and expanding itself towards complementary frameworks, such as the Fab City Strategic Action Plan (SAP), also devised by the Fab City Global Initiative. Due to the experimental status and changing nature of the Full Stack, CENTRINNO works under an specific approach within the Fab City vision and the Full Stack layers.

CENTRINNO partners are in constant contact with the Fab City Global Initiative, fostering exchanges between the project's pilot cities and the cities within the Fab City Network, making sure that the experimentation within the EU project can be exploited later in other cities, both in Europe and in all over the world.

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