Degree Granting Department
Architecture and Community Design
Vikas Mehta, Ph.D.
Neighborhood, Third place, Third realm, Social realm
When one researches the city, the neighborhood appears as an indispensable building block. Kevin Lynch, In The Image of a City, suggests that neighborhoods are "the basic element of the city" and the main way "most people structure their city". Furthering the idea of the neighborhood as a building block of the city, Sidney Brower discusses the need for different types of neighborhoods to allow for a diverse social setting to create diversity in the city. The research put forward by Lynch and Brower shows the idea of the neighborhood as a strong concept in older cities. However, the concept of the neighborhood has become less apparent in the modern cities and should be revisited in order for the neighborhood to once again be a substantial entity in the city. In The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg discusses the idea of three realms of life and the balance needed to live a fulfilling life. The first realm centers on the domestic, the second on the productive, and most significantly, the third realm centers on the social aspect. In modern neighborhoods, the idea and the architecture that make the social realm has been lost and must be reintroduced. The significance of reintroducing the third realm is the creation of a strong socially defined neighborhood and one that becomes a more identifiable part of the city. With the concept of the third realm in mind, this thesis posits the introduction of a fully integral layer of social programming that responds to a specific neighborhood condition. This way of conceiving the neighborhood and building upon the existing Main Street, the third realm will serve to facilitate a greater sense of neighborhood place.
Scholar Commons Citation
Rodriguez, Alberto, "The third realm: Suburban identity through the transformation of the main street" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.