#57 - urban innovations

Print Your City: Plastic Waste into Urban Street Furniture


An initiative that combines 3D printing, recycled plastic and citizen participation? That’s Print Your City by The New Raw.

We’ve been hearing architects and designers question how to get citizens involved in urban development, how to put them at the center of the projects. We’ve also been hearing a lot about 3D printing and the need for more recycling—for years now! Print Your City by Rotterdam-based research & design studio The New Raw combines it all.

Part of the zero waste lab in Thessaloniki, Greece—specifically Coca-Cola’s zero waste future program—citizens recycle their household plastic waste by taking it to the lab, where they’re invited to design their own street furniture. Once they’ve designed it, they can use the 3D printer on-site to bring the design to life. 

How awesome is that? Citizens recycle plastic waste, typically coming from a purchase previously made, and transform the plastic into furniture they will see placed around the city streets. Citizens can even select the location where their furniture will be placed and other options to integrate, such as a bike rack, a mini gym, a tree pot, a dog feeding bowl or a bookcase. Every piece of furniture has a metal tag on which the amount of plastic used to create it, in kilograms, is listed. 

The lab educates citizens on the recycling process of plastic, the circular economy and designing furniture. In summer 2018, The New Raw printed the first set of hybrid furniture prototypes; while the first public space to receive Print Your City pieces was in Hanth Park in January 2019. By the end of last year, they’d already received a submission of over 3,000 different designs. Apparently, it has created vast interest. Find out more on the website.

Precious Plastic is another company implementing this strategy. Learn more on their website here.

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