Societal challenges such as the climate emergency, the scarcity of resources and an increasingly divided society make it clear that we need new approaches to planning and building in cities and beyond. It is also becoming apparent that solutions can only be effective in the long term if supported by civil society requiring new forms of participation and planning culture. The potential of transdisciplinary cooperation currently needs to be exploited. With the CDC, TU Berlin plans to establish a first contact point for innovative planning processes supported by civil society inspired by the US American model of the Community Design Centre. Projects hitherto carried out repeatedly by individual departments will thus have a fixed framework at the Institute of Architecture. The CDC makes long-term cooperation between academic and non-academic actors possible beyond one semester. In addition to the content-related work on projects, the centre also strengthens student initiatives in teaching and secures the long-term focus of academic staff.