Local gathering places provide an opportunity for social interaction and community building. These places can take many forms – a local park, a small neighborhood market, a salon, a gym, a coffee shop – anywhere that people can go to meet their daily needs while also interacting with their neighbors and community members. These places are often referred to as “third places” – places where people spend time between home (first place) and work (second place).
A local example here in McMinnville is Harvest Fresh. This small grocery store not only provides access to quality foods, but also provides an opportunity for community building. When you walk into this small corner grocery store, your attention is immediately grabbed by the line of patrons waiting to enjoy the daily soup special or some other delicious option from the deli. There are seating areas inside and out that provide a place for neighbors and friends to meet for lunch. The front door and the board at the back register provide opportunities for posting flyers about community news and events. Even as you approach, Harvest Fresh is a place that grabs your attention as it oozes uniqueness, from its colorful murals adorning the facade to the handwritten daily specials on a pop-up chalkboard outside. All of these things help make Harvest Fresh a “third place” and a great neighborhood gathering place.
For more thoughts on how third places build community, check out this article from the Brookings Institution: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2016/09/14/third-places-as-community-builders/
Is it important that every neighborhood have an opportunity for a local gathering place? Should access to amenities like Harvest Fresh be a Great Neighborhood Principle?
"Great Neighborhood Principles" will help us explore what makes a neighborhood in