The Good Land: Place and Activity-Based Communities in Central Park, New York City

Ahmad, Taimur [Browse]
Senior thesis
114 pages


Stack, Carol [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
This thesis discusses informal community formation in Central Park, New York City, from an ethnographic perspective. I begin by analyzing place-making and “public characters” as forces or agents in creating place and activity-based social networks. I then consider the role these communities play as “third places” that are rich in social capital, and that provide valuable services for their members. Embedded in these groups and places is an informal economy. From the point of view of the participants, I look at their reasons for joining this informal economy as well as the benefits they derive. Finally, I include a brief comparative study with nearby Morningside Park to illustrate a difference between “neighborhood” and “destination” parks. My conclusion addresses the role parks play in facilitating a vibrant urban life. A full discussion of my methods, limitations, and reflexive considerations is included in the appendix.

Supplementary Information