Our city hub for the day on Thursday was a community space called [free space] – [free space] is an incredible example of community collaboration and its a concept that is kind of hard to explain.
One of the orgaziners of [free space], Mike Zuckerman, has joined us on the train and I learned a lot more about the project.
The idea of [free space] is inspired by the idea of the Third Place and the National Day of Civic Hacking.
The third place (also known as third space) is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg (1989, 1991) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.
[free space] set out to create a free public space where people can come together and collaborate. [free space] started as a 30 day project and stayed open for the month of June and July.
Check out some of the projects from [free space] here. Here is an article from the San Francisco NPR affiliate KALW about [free space] – [freespace]: a temporary space for lasting change.
It was great to see a community space like this in San Francisco. I think Pittsburgh has had some great success with community projects – spaces like the Union Project and the Waffle Shop have helped me to appreciate the power of public spaces.
I’ll write more about [free space] and the third place in a latter post but here are some of my photos of the location.
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