Great Good Place Book Cover

This is a book review that I wrote for New Urban Living Magazine. The review was originally published in the November/December 2005 issue.

Despite its title, The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg is much more than a description of local hangouts.  It’s a detailed analysis and endorsement for, what he calls, third places.  According to Oldenburg, the number of these great good places has been declining since World War II, and the effect of their loss has been harmful to our well-being.  The effects of this loss reach far beyond the individual to families, communities, and cities.

Third places, those ‘great good places’, are the “core settings of informal public life.”  Third place is the generic name given to a number of places “that host the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work”. [...]