A New Community Space: The Culture of the Urban Bike Cafe

By Andrew Buss and Jason Lardy.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 31, 2015 $US5.00

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg first defined third places as spaces neither at home nor at work where people can join others to relax and socialize. These community-centric spaces have long included cafes and bars, but traditional examples of Oldenburg’s third place have yielded a new, unique hybrid: the bicycle cafe. Part bike shop and part coffee shop, bike cafes are increasingly appearing in large cities in the United States and overseas, and exemplify a successful marrying of two traditionally unrelated businesses. By focusing research in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a city at the forefront of bike cafe development, this paper will examine the social significance of bike cafes and propose that their development was a logical outcome of growing urban bike and coffee cultures. The authors also argue that this innovative business hybrid offers a new model for the third place in many urban settings.

Keywords: Spaces, Urban, Micro-urban, Economic Development

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 5, Issue 3-4, April 2015, pp.13-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 31, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 884.485KB)).

Andrew Buss

Director of Innovation Management, Office of Innovation and Technology, City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Jason Lardy

President of Nomad Marketing, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA