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Third Places: Bringing “Living Rooms” Back to Our Communities• 45 min
Sometimes it's nice to just have a space to “exist” – to laugh and let go and feel light. I’ve mentioned third places in other episodes, and today, I dive deep into this concept – what they are, their decline, and ideas for bringing them back. The “third place” was coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg and refers to the place people spend their time after their “first place” (home) and their “second place” (work). They’re meant to be community hubs – places where people can exchange ideas, build relationships, and have a good time. Here, I talk about the history of the third place and their decline in the past half century. So if you’re out there feeling like a bad friend for not calling people back or because you don’t know your neighbors, give yourself some grace – it’s a little more difficult than it once was. I’m a total nerd about this topic, and this will be the first in many episodes talking about third places, from the laws and policy decisions that affect them, to how they might look in the future. In this episode you’ll hear about: What a third places is by Oldenburg’s definition and examples – libraries, parks, museums, social services, low-cost businessesHow third places cultivate a sense of belonging and trust – plus, the populations that especially benefit from them: teens, the elderly, and people with disabilitiesThe history of third places, from the 1800s through post World War II and the “American Dream” – plus, third place “replacements,” i.e., places where you pay to gain entryHow some modern day third places are more focused on self than the community (for example, getting in better shape, leaning into your hobby, etc.)Ideas to bring third places back, from using a third place (going to the park, the library, or the neighborhood cafe) to following people who are talking about thisResources & Links Like what you hear? Visit my website, leave me a voicemail, and follow me on Instagram! Want to take this conversation a step further? Send this episode to a friend. Tell them you found it interesting and use what we just talked about as a conversation starter the next time you and your friend hang out!
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