How To Create A Relevant Public Space

3RD4ALL is a book focusing on public spaces, also known as third places. Your first place is your center, your home. Your second place is usually your work, where you spend the second largest portion of your time. The third place is found in the public domain, usually in forms such as community centers, libraries, parks, start-up cafés, or idea hubs. Or at least, that is how it should be. Something is happening right now that worries me, and inspired me to write this book.

The public domain has increasingly fallen victim to commercialization, an unsettling trend that has systematically reduced the number of genuinely public spaces, as well as their visitors. The financial threshold that many places create, such as entrance fees or the requirement of purchase, have led to the exclusion of those who cannot afford to pay. Economic discrimination in the public domain has led public spaces to lose touch with their true purpose: providing a home away from home to all members the public, regardless of social status, race, gender, age or spending abilities.

What better way to gain extensive knowledge about public spaces than by combining ideas and opinions from different people? So, I built up a team to collect inspiring examples of successful third places. They are all are found in 3RD4ALL, along with more than 20 in-depth interviews that provide cutting edge insight from various experts into both the present and the future of our public domain and how to create relevant third places.

I built up a team to collect inspiring examples of successful third places.

Aat Vos

Creative Guide

My fascination and dedication towards third spaces have led to the development of five pillars that are decisive for the success of a third place: People, Place, Experience, Product and Future. The implementation of these pillars is clearly explained in the book, while offering inspiration to creatives, administrators, architects and policymakers, and, of course, the public.

We are all dependent on public spaces to energize and inspire us on a societal level through interaction and communication. All visitors to a public space should feel welcome and have an equal chance to participate. Design plays an increasingly important role in energizing spaces. It helps make people feel at ease, as well as orchestrate activities for different audiences in a way that encourages all parties to interact. Design is a catalyst for bringing people together, which sparks conversation and the transfer of knowledge and ideas.

As a creative guide, I specialize in enabling processes that revolve around architecture and interior design. 3RD4ALL is my personal call to action to save public spaces and revitalize our society. Interested?

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