Now this is a surprising move by Airbnb. Meet “Samara”, an innovation lab and design studio aimed at creating hardware and software that supports “exploring new attitudes towards sharing and trust”. One of their first projects delves into the realm of urban planning by constructing a communal space in a small town in Japan. It’s a unique opportunity to expand their business, staying true to their core business that has helped to connect 60,000,000+ travellers in over 191-plus countries with unique accommodations and experiences. 

For what it’s worth, branching into what us urban planners like to call creating a “sense of place”, isn’t a bad pivot. My only critique of Samara would be that I’d have wanted it to be done more from the grassroots level so there’s a lot of ownership from communities.

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Airbnb’s design for a community centre to be placed in rural Japan | Source: Fast Company

That aside, I think it could work as a platform to boost alternative tourism and overall economic creation in smaller districts/villages/towns, particularly because their area of focus is on communities that have suffered economically from young people moving away to bigger cities and leaving the elderly behind . I’ll be curious to see how this initiative by Airbnb plays out.

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The community centre features a 16 ft long table for shared meals and meetings | Source: The Verge

You can read the story in detail and get an exclusive look here from Fast Company. Read More –>

Also, Airbnb Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Joe Gebbia introduces Samara here. Read More –>

Let me know your thoughts on Airbnb’s latest move by leaving a comment below.

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