Maker Cities


Over at the Information Daily, my Institute for the Future (IFTF) colleague Jason Tester wrote about "Maker Cities," a concept that IFTF is currently exploring through on-the ground ethnography and a forthcoming forecasting game, created with BB's legendary developer Dean Putney! Jason writes:

The DIY ethos of making isn’t limited to creating physical objects—stuff. Makers are starting to reimagine the systems that surround the world around them. That is, they are bringing the “maker mindset” to the complex urban challenges of health, education, food, and even citizenship.

Makers are coming together in civic innovation hackathons to prototype new forms of citizen-led governance. Makers experimenting with new forms of community launched what would become the sharing economy, establishing new ways to measure and create value in local economies. And needing capital to make their ideas real, makers were the earliest adopters of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Crowdfunding raised an estimated $2.8 billion in 2012 to fund projects, and new specialized sites like and Fundrise focus on group fundraising for municipal projects like building parks or upgrading failing infrastructure.

This last space of civic crowdfunding points to a common thread found in many of these broader examples of making—the systems being remade are often rooted in cities.

"Citizens Will Make the Future of Cities" (Information Daily)

Maker Cities game (IFTF)

(image: "Lego Chicago City View 2001" by Otto Normalverbraucher)



  1. I wish this kind of thing were more common.  I think about stuff like this all the time.

  2. I attend the local Liverpool maker space (DoES). As a disabled person who is a techie, I was rather inspired by the DIY culture aspect, as well as the possibilities I was being introduced to. ‘Shouldn’t the people who provide care for older and disabled people know about this Maker/IoT/Big Data stuff’ I thought. So, I organised a Social Care Hack Day. It was weirdly easy. Once people knew I was doing it for nothing, I got lots of free support. A council initiative got behind it, and it ended up being pretty successful.
    What I learnt is: say ‘this is happening’ and ask people to help it happen and it does.

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