The suburban town centre and its by-product activity

December 29, 2008

We have for a while been discussing by-product activity in suburban town centres: the notion that a town centre that contains a variety of activity – rather than mainly retail – is likely to generate a greater diversity of people, coming from a variety of distances and thus has the potential for greater sociability. I just came across this quote in support of this idea: “Mutuality and resonance, in their many forms, are the stuff of most human exchange. We chat pleasantly about the weather, share a joke we heard with our hairdresser, pass an hour over coffee gossiping with a friend.  These mostly unremarkable events soon fade into the dustbin of memory, yet without them life is apt to feel empty and cold.” (From The Space between Us: Exploring the Dimensions of Human Relationships. R. Josselson, 1996:  p. 152. – with thanks to Wendy Olsen).

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