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16 Of The World’s Best Squares: Think About The Details

April 11, 2008
From Mexico to Italy to Iran, these remarkable squares can inspire us all. What stands out most is that design is only a small fraction of what goes into making a great square: small details add up to great places.

Historically, squares were the center of communities, and they traditionally helped shape the identity of entire cities.

Like the tentacles of an octopus extending into the surrounding neighborhood, the influence of a good square (such as Union Square in New York) starts at least a block away.

Any great square has a variety of smaller “places” within it to appeal to various people.

The use of a square changes during the course of the day, week, and year. The streets and sidewalks around a square greatly affect its accessibility and use, as do the buildings that surround it.

Any community where people want to discover the rewards of public life can make a square its centerpiece.

clipped from www.pps.org

1. Rynek Glowny, Krakow, Poland

2. Plaza Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico

3. Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy

4. Piazza del Campo, Sienna, Italy

5. Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Covent Gardens, and Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom

6. Hotel de Ville (City Hall), Paris, France

7. Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic

8. Plaza de la Constitucion (Zocalo), Oaxaca City, Mexico

9. Plaza Santa Ana, Madrid, Spain

10. Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru

11. Trg Bana Jelacica, Zagreb, Croatia

12. Östermalmstorg, Stockholm, Sweden

13. Plaza de Entrevero, Montevideo, Uruguay

14. Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia

15. Imam Square, Isfahan, Iran

16. Campo Santa Margherita, Venice, Italy

clipped from www.pps.org

Ten Principles for Creating Successful Squares

1. Image and Identity

2. Attractions and Destinations

3. Amenities

4. Flexible Design

5. Seasonal Strategy

6. Access

7. The Inner Square & the Outer Square

8. Reaching Out Like an Octopus

9. The Central Role of Management

10. Diverse Funding Sources

One Comment leave one →
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