Disaster recovery in urban environments is a complex process. Because of high population densities and the presence of many societal and infrastructural dependencies, urban areas are prone to severe loss of self-reliance in case of a disaster. Rebuilding such areas to a self-sustaining state is a daunting task, and requires a high degree of community effort and comprehensive knowledge about the affected environment. All too often, these requirements are not properly met, leading to a long recovery trajectory and misalignments between recovery efforts and community needs. We suggest that most issues in disaster recovery stem from ‘collaboration gaps’: flawed organisational structures between stakeholder parties that exist between levels of operation and between phases in the recovery process. We introduce two innovation pathways to close these gaps, and present the COBACORE project that will explore these pathways, and create a collaborative platform for effective community-based comprehensive disaster recovery.