Informal Public Life And The Urban Agenda

A tremendous advantage enjoyed by societies with a well developed informal public life is that, within them, poverty carries fewer burdens over that of having to live a Spartan existence.

There is less stigma and less deprivation of experience suggests Oldenburg.  There is an engaging and sustaining public life to supplement and complement home and work routines.  For those on tight budgets who live in some degree of autsterity, it compensates for the lack of things owned privately.  For the affluent, it offers much that money cannot buy. Read more…

The Importance of Spaces To Meet People

Community life amongst tract housing is a disappointing experience.  The space within these housing developments have been barely equipped with little else but a stage for isolated family living.

The processes by which potential friends might find one another and by which friendships beyond the family domain might be nurtured outside it are severely hampered by the limited features and facilities of the modern suburb. Read more…

The Great Good Place: A Digest

The ‘third places’ of a culture are those happy gathering places that a community may contain, those ‘homes away from home’ where unrelated people relate are those places which Prof Ray Oldenburg examines in his book ‘The Great Good Place’. What are the importance of these spaces in our landscape ?  How are they vital for our society and social functioning ?  Why are they so apparently pivotal in our lives and should we be worried about their increasing rarity ? Read more…

Educational History: Ivan Illich and Deinstitutionalisation

After being introduced to Ivan Illich as an educational thinker by two retired friends who were teachers, it raised so many questions in life that I have decided to create a series of digests on his famous book Deschooling Society.  He is a thinker who demands being read, so if you have not encountered his thought I recommend you make a point to read his work firsthand and then prompt you to go and explore it yourself.  This is the very spirit of Ivan Illich.
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