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Many of the challenges that we face in our cities boil down to facilitating collaboration and partnership across institutional boundaries. Enabling a community and a local library, say (or local government or university, etc.) to come together into an open and inviting space to brainstorm ideas and how to execute them could facilitate a new era of people-led innovation in our cities. One model for this could be fab labs – but by their very nature they presuppose a solution that is a device of some kind, or some other built form.

A community collaboratorium is a space that supports and facilitates groups to come together and to explore new ideas. Ongoing programming at the collaboratorium then could allow for the execution and development of these ideas. Discrete pots of funding provided by local government or other local anchor institutions could go towards the deployment of these new programs or services in the neighborhood. In many ways a community collaboratorium becomes a 21st-century community center with a focus on supporting the community in taking on local challenges themselves.