“Third places,” or “great good places,” are all those spots where people gather, put aside the concerns of home and work (our first and second places), and hang out simply for the pleasures of good company and lively conversation. Third places are the heart of a community’s social vitality, and have long been central to grassroots democracy. Author Ray Oldenburg is renowned for coining the term “third place.” In this book, he portrays, probes, and promotes these great good places: coffee houses, cafés, bookstores, hair salons, bars, bistros, and more, both past and present – and offers a vision for their revitalization. Eloquent and visionary, this book offers a compelling argument for the importance of informal public and civic life. It explains how third places are essential to community health and individual well-being. In the years since its first appearance in 1989, The Great Good Place has inspired policy makers and entrepreneurs from Seattle to Singapore, Osaka to Oslo. They have opened coffee houses, bookstores, community centers, bars, and other establishments – proudly acknowledging their indebtedness to Ray Oldenburg’s ideas.
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