Prevalent discussions in urban planning focus on collaboration. However, they do not explain the underlying processes that allow collaborative work. This paper argues that experiential learning processes can help construct and maintain collaborative platforms in urban planning. To show this, the paper uses the participatory planning of Kaymakli, a small agricultural and touristic town in the internationally well-known cultural landscape, the Cappadoccia region. This entails the second stage of a two-year long Participatory Action Research project initiated by a local civil association in collaboration with the Municipality of Kaymakli. The paper presents how the local capacity for collaboration is built through the development of local knowledge in a practice-based training programme. The attention is particularly directed to the pedagogic design of the training programme, the shared knowledge that came out of it, the affects of the programme on the collaborative capacity of participants, and their future collaborative action. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.