Author Archives: Marcelo Mejia Cobo

49ers User Diagram – Carrie, Jess, Marcelo & Shixiao

Public Interfaces 49ers User Diagram

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“quick dirty individual project” – Marcelo

Magnetic Subway Entrances

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How to get rid of our “Third Places” and thoughts on: Our Vanishing “Third Places”

“An electronically-operated garage door out front and a privacy fence out back afford near-total protection from those who, in former days, would have been neighbors.”

I think that separating ourselves from the outside world is in vogue. From immersing  ourselves to our systematic daily routine (and not looking out) to grabbing with our eyes any digital device screen (and reducing to a minimum our peripheral vision) we create “bubbles” and occupy them at all times. If that process is increasing by the minute, it means that the demand for “Third Places” is decreasing and of course the customer is always right.

“The flaw in much of today’s residential land use pattern — all space is used up and there’s no provision for a community life.”

I think part of the flaw is a response to how our “home-to-work-and-back-again shuttle” works: mainly as a car commute. Therefore, that need was answered by a city-grid planned around vehicles with a very high percentage of the public property dedicated to vehicular circulation and the rest to pedestrian circulation only.

If you want to get rid of our few “Third Places” simply do nothing or move as far away from work as possible.

On the other hand, if you want them back follow what advanced societies do:


I think the best way to try to rescue or create public “Third Places” might be to transform our sidewalks from being circulation-paths to a series of bay-spaces or plazas by lowering the percentage-area that is currently assigned to cars.

“Third places are nothing more than informal public gathering places.”

The moment “Third Places” appear people will start using them.

About six years ago New York City created a “Third Place” in Times Square as a series of plazas that potentiated the place to become an actual square. In my opinion an excellent move. It helped near by businesses and attracted many interesting people like “The Desnudas”.

“The Desnudas of Times Square, Topless but for the Paint” (

Unfortunately, if you want to get rid of our few “Third Places” simply become one.

“Mayor de Blasio Raises Prospect of Removing Times Square Pedestrian Plazas” (


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