The World’s Best & Worst Plazas – Part1Best

The Atlantic Cities posted their Best and Worst of the World’s Central Plazas and Squares with photos and insights into this element of our human habitat. We’re taking this all in, in Phases. Part 1 – The Best…a few of the Best plazas that are similar to what we’ve got at City Hall. Part 2 – The Worst…at least the City Hall plaza’s not this bad (right?). Part 3 – Dallas City Hall Plaza…look at all our potential for this plaza!

First, some inspiration from the best:

(notice a lot of these have tons of concrete…notice how the open space interacts with surrounding buildings’ heights & facades…)

More than half a millennium old, Piazza del Campo needs no redesign. The perimeter is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and shops while the center provides open space for pedestrians to casually gather.

Defined by its central location and its own landmarks, Trafalgar Square is a magnet for tourists and locals. The layout is stately but uncomplicated.

Plaza Santa Ana is smaller than nearby Plaza Mayor, but it is able to balance crowds along its edges (where the cafes and restaurants live) while also feeling comfortably open.

Pioneer Courthouse Square has been successful mostly because of its central location downtown. But it is also enhanced by its own quirks. The public art adds charm and helps define the space. The steps lend themselves perfectly to public performances but also to a spur of the moment decision to sit down for lunch.

Old Town Square is surrounded by charming architecture, cobblestones, and anchored by a sizable and iconic statue. When you take into account its central location, there’s no question why it is such a successful space.

This travel blog photo’s source is TravelPod page: Cracow Culture
With its multi-use Sukiennice as the centerpiece, Krakow’s Rynek Glowny serves as the premiere local gathering spot. The immediate surroundings around this simple square consist of multi-use structures that vary in scale and form a diverse cluster of activity in the city center.

From CanadaGood on Flickr
Piazza Navona has charmed the world with its rich history and design. Everything about it makes it one of the best public squares you’ll ever set foot in.

Next, Part2: The Worst.  What can we learn from the Worst list? Can we feel just a little bit better that we didn’t make the Worst Plazas in the World list?…

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