Remember the Third Place

The Third Place” is a term Ray Oldenburg coined in his book, The Great Good Place. The “first place” is the home, and the “second place” is the workplace.  The “third place” is about creating an anchor of community life.  These are critical to creating a sense of community, and fostering creative interaction.  As planners of great places, it is important to remind ourselves to incorporate this key component.  Oldenburg mentions hallmarks of a true third place, including inexpensive food and drink, and being walkable for many people. 

In todays world-not 1990 when this phrase developed- how can we foster this sense of interaction and face to face dialogue amidst the constant beeping and buzzing of facebook updates, calendar reminders, and thousands of other minor but constant interruptions? Would a sign at the door saying “no mobile phones allowed” work?  Even for an hour a day?

© tpg 2016