Great (and not so great) Public Squares


The Best and Worst of the World's Central Plazas and Squares

The Best and Worst of the World's Central Plazas and Squares
Flickr user: marco_ask under a Creative Commons Licencil
"Central plazas and squares play a crucial role in successful urban areas. When they're done right, these spaces act as a focal point for the civic and social life of a city, a place where impromptu gatherings, people watching and even, political discourse all naturally intersect. When designed poorly, though, they can act as a black hole, sucking the life out of a city center."
"Influenced by urban sociologist William Whyte, the Project For Public Spaces has focused on understanding what's necessary to maintain or improve on these spaces. In 2004, they released their rankings of the best and worst public squares in the world. Since then, PPS maintains an up-to-date data base of over 600 public spaces, outlining the pros and cons of each one. "
10 Great Central Plazas and Squares


Flickr user: Karen V Bryan
High density is what makes Grand Place works so well. There are various parks and green spaces close by, but Grand Place is surrounded by everything. There is nothing complex to its design; just a straightforward, strategically located gathering point that everyone loves.