What is Collab?

We all want more say in our communities, but life and work can make it hard to participate. It can be difficult to engage in person or understand the tradeoffs required to meet the needs and desires of the most community members. Collab is a prototype built by Sidewalk Labs and Digital Public Square to help break through barriers and help people participate from anywhere, at anytime.

More about Collab

We built Collab to learn about how to best support communities in their effort to increase participation and make more inclusive decisions. The Collab prototype invites you to choose and propose events that you’d like to see happen in public spaces, review trade-offs based on your choices, and then compare your choices to others.

Based on what we learn, we hope that Collab will eventually grow to an open-source tool available for everyone to use in their communities on the issues that matter to them. Try it as many times as you like and let us know what you think.

Sidewalk Labs & Digital Public Square Toronto

Making inclusive
community decisions

For this prototype, Sidewalk Labs and Digital Public Square will be analyzing the input from people who use the website. In the future, it could be utilized by organizations, such as a neighbourhood association or public space nonprofit, to make more inclusive community decisions.

How might a community use Collab to influence decisions?

  • Community members:

    • Receive notification of pending decision
    • Add input, including reviewing trade-offs
    • Compare to other community members
  • Neighbourhood association:

    • Reviews input
    • Reports back to community
    • Organizes events based on input
  • Measurement and feedback on events

Participate while
maximizing privacy

Privacy is the default in Collab. You can use Collab without submitting any information about yourself and we do not store any information that can identify you.

More on your data and privacy

We want to know how well the Collab prototype works, how we can make it better, and if communities feel it could be a valuable tool. We record non-identifying data about your use of Collab and the data you submit.

All data collected through the prototype is securely stored through encryption and only accessible by key personnel from Sidewalk Labs and Digital Public Square. Data collected will not be sold nor be used for advertising.

We use Internet Protocol (IP) address anonymization on our servers, and with Google Analytics, to avoid storing information that could identify you. Collab is hosted on the Google Cloud Platform in Canada.

You can find out more in our Privacy Policy and summary Responsible Data Use Assessment.


You can provide feedback before, during, or after you try Collab. Your input is vital and how you feel about the prototype is important to making it better.