Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

What are the best public spaces in the United States? Great public spaces are where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges take place, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. In your mind, which public spaces best accomplish these tasks, and more importantly, meet that elusive goal of being a place that people hold dear? We've seeded the list with a few suggestions, but we're looking to you to bring the best places to our attention. As places get posted, vote for your favorites! Each user gets up to 10 votes to use as they wish.

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Vancouver Seawall

Recently named the best public space in canada out of the top 100, by SPACING magazine, and referred to by Great Streets author Allan Jacobs as possibly the most walkable seawall in the world, this is a great acheivement of public placemaking over generations.

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Bayfront Park, Miami FL

Situated on the Biscayne Bay and at the edge of Downtown, this is one awesome public space in Miami. It is very accessible, as it is connected with areas north and south via the Bay walk and has its own stop on the Metro Mover that runs through Downtown and Brickell. Bayfront Park is home to many special events, in addition to free, weekly yoga classes and some of the City's best food trucks. The Park is great for running, ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

0 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA

The Urban Park with many museums and the World Famous San Diego Zoo and the Old Globe Theatre, plus El Prado restaurant.

Submitted by

Voting

0 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

New Haven Temple Plaza with Public Art by Felice Varini

Located in the heart of downtown New Haven, CT, Temple Plaza was created in the 1990s by hollowing out the crumbling interior of a large city block. A close neighbor to New Haven's iconic central Green, this new public space is diametrically different in character. Small and irregularly-shaped, the delightful plaza is bordered by formerly hidden rear and side yard structures clad with utilitarian but eclectic architectural ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

90 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

A magical space within Golden Gate Park, the Botanical Gardens, formerly called the Arboretum, showcases plants from Mediterranean climates around the world. There are large lawns where people stretch out on blankets, goregous ponds, a boardwalk that takes you past prehistoric plants, and many winding paths for contemplative walkers. Outstanding site for bird watching. Neighbors have been fighting attempts to impose fees ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

2 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Star Plaza, Cleveland OH

Star Plaza, an outdoor urban park located in the center of the PlayhouseSquare District, is home throughout the year to many special events and annual celebrations. The Plaza, also known as the ninth stage in PlayhouseSquare, is wi-fi activated and presents an array of live performances and activities for the summer lunchtime crowds.

Submitted by

Voting

14 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Embarcadero, Harbor Drive, San Diego California

"Embarcadero Marina Park is not only a great place for the kids to run around, but it offers of San Diego’s best views. On the way, you’ll pass Broadway Pier, where the Coronado Ferry and Harbor Cruises depart. A little farther, at Harbor Drive and Ash Street, lies the Star of India. Don’t miss walking the decks of this magnificent ship and discovering San Diego’s rich maritime heritage. The other vessels in the Maritime ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

0 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Green Lakes State Park, Syracuse, NY

Green Lakes State Park's outstanding features are its two glacial lakes surrounded by upland forest. Both Round and Green Lakes are meromictic lakes, which means that there is no fall and spring mixing of surface and bottom waters. Such lakes have a high potential for evidence of ancient plant and animal life.

http://mo-jo-photo.smugmug.com/Nature/Green-Lakes-state-Park-11OCT11/i-PqBs9CR/0/M/g11OCT11a003-M.jpg

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Market Square, downtown Knoxville

Market Square is a pedestrian mall that survived the death of pedestrian malls. Truly a place to live, work and play, Market Square is home to local restaurants and shops, residences, bars, and the Chamber of Commerce and other offices. It hosts the Market Square Farmers' Market evey Wed and Sat from May and November, an ice skating rink from Thanksgiving to New Year's, Movies on Market Square in the fall, and many other ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

New York City subway

I know, it costs a few bucks to get in. But it is still the most affordable way to get around the city and it is used by everyone, from the poor on up to the billionaire mayor! A subway car can be a serene reading room, a hopping music club, or a depressing homeless shelter. Whatever it is, residents and visitors are in it together. Where else does contact across every possible form of diversity occur shoulder to ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

0 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Coney Island boardwalk

Coney Island is different. Don't get me wrong: I love Central Park, Millennium Park, and Stanley Park, and I'm sure the others on this list are equally great. Pleasing environments bustling with pleasant people. But the Coney boardwalk on a fine day is a wonderful, vibrant place for all New Yorkers. The crowd is disproportionately people of color, and lower income, just like NYC. But, unlike many such spaces, white ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

0 votes
Active

Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Lake Eola Park, Orlando, Florida

Lake Eola Park is popular destination in the downtown Orlando area, with many people taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings to walk at lunch or the evenings. The sidewalk that circles the lake is .9 miles in length, making it easy for visitors to keep track of their walking or running distances. Other activities available to park visitors include renting swan-shaped paddle boats, feeding the live swans and other ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
Active