Centering in on the Public Realm

Tonight Metro held another in their series of Get Centered events, this one featuring Fred Kent from the Project for Public Spaces on the topic of public squares.

Many of the models of great public squares were European of course, but Pioneer Courthouse Square compared favorably. Esther Short Park in Vancouver was also discussed in detail (and with compliments).

A key difference between European and American squares/plazas/piazzas is that in Europe the square extends all the way to the building faces, while in America they are almost always bounded by streets. Which is an excellent reminder that streets are an important part of the public realm and very important in how they frame public spaces.

So what examples can you site for streets in our region that make great public spaces or set off other public space? What are the biggest opportunities lost?

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the great work of City Repair (pictured left).

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