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  #81  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2018, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Pavlov's Dog View Post
It is kind of ironic that while the US is pretty poor at piazzas/plazas it blows away the rest of the world in university environments. Try finding any kind of campus in Bologna or Paris at some of the oldest universities in the World.

I don't get the no car streets criteria either. In Rome the Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo both have streets that allow either limited or massive amounts of traffic respectively and they're among the best know in Italy.

Pioneer Square has been mentioned but it isn't even the best urban square in Portland. I think Jamison Square is a better urban space although the presense of grass and people using it actively would probably freak out an Italian. There it seems that urban grass is only to look at and for dogs to poop on.
Jamison Square gets a lot of things right, although I still don't know if it stacks up against European examples. It didn't really impress me when I visited a few weeks ago, it was just very sleepy. I clearly didn't visit at the peak time, but it was a beautiful clear Saturday afternoon with temps in the 60s.

Sleepy isn't necessarily bad for an open space in a residential neighborhood, but it's not a good thing when you're holding that up as the best public space in your city. It's definitely not a bad urban space, and I like the modern site plan and the fact that the edges are sharply defined by buildings.

Piazza San Cosimato in Rome's Trastevere is a similar type space, it's in a midrise residential area and mostly off the beaten path for tourists, yet it felt much more lively than Jamison Square. Also unlike a lot of the more familiar Roman piazzas, San Cosimato has quite a few large, mature trees providing shade.
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  #82  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2018, 10:37 PM
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agree savannah is awesome, although most of the squares are small by modern standards

daley plaza in chicago is a nice public space for sure and totally walled. great spot when the christmas market is there
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  #83  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 9:45 AM
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Alamo Plaza in San Antonio will, after currently planned renovations occur, satisfy all of the OP's criteria.

http://www.thealamo.org/alamomasterp...d-version-.pdf

San Antonio's Main Plaza has streets on two sides, so does not qualify, yet is still an excellent example of a public gathering space. Additionally, the city is in the process of creating another "green space" plaza surrounded by the convention center and new buildings fronting E. Market and S. Alamo on land that used to be occupied by the convention center itself before expansion eastward and subsequent demolition of parts of the outdated structure and renovation of others. And... of course, it would be remiss to not mention the Riverwalk as one of the best public spaces in the world.

Knoxville's Market Square satisfies most of the criteria, except for two very inobtrusive streets on the north and south ends. However, the plaza is separated by a performance building and a city block sized park, respectively, from those streets. Ergo, even it probably satisfies the lack of street criteria.
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  #84  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 1:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Jamison Square gets a lot of things right, although I still don't know if it stacks up against European examples. It didn't really impress me when I visited a few weeks ago, it was just very sleepy. I clearly didn't visit at the peak time, but it was a beautiful clear Saturday afternoon with temps in the 60s.

Sleepy isn't necessarily bad for an open space in a residential neighborhood, but it's not a good thing when you're holding that up as the best public space in your city. It's definitely not a bad urban space, and I like the modern site plan and the fact that the edges are sharply defined by buildings.

Piazza San Cosimato in Rome's Trastevere is a similar type space, it's in a midrise residential area and mostly off the beaten path for tourists, yet it felt much more lively than Jamison Square. Also unlike a lot of the more familiar Roman piazzas, San Cosimato has quite a few large, mature trees providing shade.
I have to laugh at people citing Rome as an example of a city with lots of quiet, romantic piazzas.

Rome has some of the loudest, most obnoxious car and bus traffic I've ever seen. The major squares are dirty and busy. Sidewalks are narrow, cars and buses whizz by at 30 miles/hour.

Ironically, of the large European cities I've been to Barcelona had the best small scale plazas and piazzas by far, not any Italian city. Those octagonal squares really slow down the traffic and keep things civilized.
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  #85  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 1:52 PM
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I have to laugh at people citing Rome as an example of a city with lots of quiet, romantic piazzas.

Rome has some of the loudest, most obnoxious car and bus traffic I've ever seen. The major squares are dirty and busy. Sidewalks are narrow, cars and buses whizz by at 30 miles/hour.
Yeah, I'm not quite getting Rome either. Florence and Venice have fantastic public spaces, but Rome generally has very unpleasant public spaces. Spanish Steps would be a notable exception.
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  #86  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 2:23 PM
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^ or any mid sized city in France. Tours has great piazzas.

But in Paris, the urbanism is more grand scale and you don't have many small piazzas at all.
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  #87  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 3:00 PM
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^ or any mid sized city in France. Tours has great piazzas.

But in Paris, the urbanism is more grand scale and you don't have many small piazzas at all.
Sure you do. All over the place. They’re just not the ones with name recognition, because they’re not the main squares like Place Vendôme or Place de la Concorde. Though even the very famous Place des Vosges is quite intimate and “human scaled” - that one is a fantastic “outdoor room”.
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  #88  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 3:13 PM
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place de vosges is great, but there are not so many other examples of places/piazzas built exclusively for pedestrians.

C'mon, Paris is more about walking market streets, parks, and the boulevards, than piazzas.
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  #89  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 3:35 PM
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i'm going with gansevoort square in my neighborhood, even tho its always torn up with construction, because piazza's in the usa are hard to come by! this place is in the meatpacking district in lower manhattan. the city and neighborhood bid really doesnt know what to do with it other than they got the car traffic out of it and put seating in as the area redeveloped. its often used as public event space, which is a mixed bag. sometimes its cool and fun, sometimes corporate. anyway, despite the moniker, its an open cobblestone intersection of many small old streets. it really is more a real piazza than a square or park. great people watching.



Last edited by mrnyc; Feb 12, 2018 at 5:23 PM.
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  #90  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 3:42 PM
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agree savannah is awesome, although most of the squares are small by modern standards

daley plaza in chicago is a nice public space for sure and totally walled. great spot when the christmas market is there
when something like the christkindlmarkt isn't going on, it suffers from the classic brand of american downtown gigantism. not that i really anything really should be done about it because it is what it is...i just find scaled down spaces more attractive.
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  #91  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 3:48 PM
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Definitely Gotham Plaza:



I kind of wish this place actually existed. That dumb movie was what really ignited my interest in public spaces and architecture.
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  #92  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 3:54 PM
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Definitely Gotham Plaza:



I kind of wish this place actually existed. That dumb movie was what really ignited my interest in public spaces and architecture.
oh, that's not daley plaza?
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  #93  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:11 PM
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oh, that's not daley plaza?
I don't know... Does Daley Plaza feature Victorian lampposts mismatched with monumental neo-fascist statuary?
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  #94  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:16 PM
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I don't know... Does Daley Plaza feature Victorian lampposts mismatched with monumental neo-fascist statuary?


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  #95  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:19 PM
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daley plaza in one of the best places on our planet for cor-ten lovers.

i am a cor-ten lover.
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  #96  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:27 PM
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those picasso public sculptures are all pretty bad. picasso was money makin and goofin on 'murica. good for him.
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  #97  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:31 PM
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those picasso public sculptures are all pretty bad. picasso was money makin and goofin on 'murica. good for him.
i'm not aware of any other large scale public sculptures by picasso anywhere else in the US.

his daley palza sculpture is actually pretty fucking cool.

and picasso refused to accept payment for it, saying that it was a gift to the people of chicago.

cor-ten love!


source: http://www.chicagodetours.com/tag/picasso-sculpture/
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Feb 12, 2018 at 7:24 PM.
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  #98  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:42 PM
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It looks like a mandrill.
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  #99  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:54 PM
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One plaza that has come out of relatively nowhere to become one of the better ones in the US is Occidental Square in Seattle.

Its amazing what a changing neighborhood, public space management and activation and getting the square enclosed with the new Weyerhauser HQ forming the 4th wall did to turn around this once sad square.

Add to that an upcoming renovation of the historic building to the west that will be reprogramed and designed to spill activity out onto the square designed by a lauded placemaking, adaptive reuse and retail architecture firm Graham Baba.

Keep an eye on Occidental Square.
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  #100  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:55 PM
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Pizza sucks, but Piazzas are cool.
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