FROM PLACES TO SPACES

Left behind by industrialization…

…was the realm of the middle. The middle was once where everyone lived and most things happened. This size once flourished in geographical towns (with tens of thousands), ordinary communities (with thousands) and neighborhoods (with hundreds). Places embraced the middle very well.

But the vitality of places was weakened by a bifurcating pressure to make things either huge for the masses or solo for the personal. The logic of the modern was: it must appeal to everyone, or to only me. Neither mass society nor the cult of the personal was equipped to deal with the peculiar dynamics of the middle. There was little economic or technological support for aiming an innovation at 5,000 people. Neither broadcast nor the personal chip, for example, really knew how to do towns and neighborhoods.

 

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This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK