The third place

The Great Good Place, third place, Ray Oldenburg

The first place is your home. The second place is your workplace. The third place is where you hang out in between. Urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg coined the term and wrote the book on it, referring to them as the ‘anchors’ of community life that facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.

Think of that cool indie coffeehouse or pub “where everybody knows your name“. A successful city or neighborhood is full of great third places. If you aren’t motivated to leave home or your workplace, chances are you don’t live around too many third places.

The UK has long had the concept of the third place down pat. While staying with a friend in the small town of Streatley-Goring in England, I’d usually find him at “The Bull”, a small pub across the road (literally). There he was, laughing it up with his good friends or playing a game of darts amid philosophical discussion. This was available to him at all times just 50 yards away. In fact, during my stay there it was available to me as well, as they made me feel right at home. Now that’s what a third place is all about.

Keep up with third place trends right here.