Welcome to CoLabS

Sustainable community development and climate action require transdisciplinary approaches and research collaboration (Bradford, 2003; Dale et al., 2010, 2012). To this end, we have created the online collaboration platform: Community + Collabotation + Sustainability = CoLabS. CoLabS makes it easy to create scalable research networks, and it can be customized for the needs of different user communities. The platform complements face-to-face meetings with a virtual meeting space, equipped with video calling, messaging, and file sharing capabilities. In addition, while the community can collaborate in a private space, CoLabS also contains a public library and a space for sharing reports, videos, and any other useful resources. We envision a network of connected hubs across Canada, for communities to easily work together and with one another to push emerging sustainability initiatives forward.

To learn more about the platform, read our paper on its development (Jost et al., 2021). To try out the site, click the image below, and use the guest password displayed under the CoLabS logo.



CoLabS is an open-source, Drupal-based platform, and you are welcome to replicate it on your own website (click here to download the CoLabS image pack). If you and your community are interested in using the platform for a community sustainability research project, you are welcome to contact the CoLabS research team to learn more. The platform was designed to be flexible, with the ability to incorporate and embed new tools, depending on the needs of the user community. We have compiled a library of open-source/free-version tools that can be integrated into CoLabS, and these can found by clicking and expanding the categories below.


Bradford, N. (2003). Cities and communities that work: Innovative practices, enabling policies. Canadian Policy Research Networks Inc. (CPRN), Ottawa.

Dale, A., Newman, L., Ling, C. (2010). Facilitating transdisciplinary sustainable development research teams through online collaboration. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 11(1), 36–48. doi: 10.1108/14676371011010039

Dale, A., Dushenko, B., & Robinson, P. (2012). Urban sustainability: Reconnecting space and place. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Jost, F., Newell, R., & Dale, A. (2021). CoLabS: A collaborative space for transdisciplinary work in sustainable community development. Heliyon, 7(2), e05997. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e05997