Airbnb is moving beyond home-sharing with a new design firm called Samara.

The new initiative pushes the company into a type of urban planning, with the firm positioned to evaluate declining small towns that could benefit from an Airbnb-sponsored project. Those projects themselves, as Business Insider pointed out, look a lot like hotels or hostels.

The first project is a community center in a small town in Japan. But unlike a typical community center — and like a hotel — it hosts travelers. The building includes a living room, a kitchen and a 16-foot communal dining table, according to FastCo Design, which profiled the project for its launch. Read more…

More about Japan, Samara, Airbnb, Business, and Startups

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