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.

Chicago Riverwalk

Built along the southern bank of the Chicago River from Lake Shore Drive to State Street, the Riverwalk offers a unique and visually compelling perspective of downtown Chicago. It's lined with cafes, tour boats, bike rentals and more, and is framed on both sides by the downtown skyscraper canyon. And it's home to Chicago's Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the largest in the country. Cool, indeed. http://bit.ly/gUI605 ...more »

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Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Miller Plaza

The heart of Chattanooga's City Center where markets, concerts, and celebrations as well as casual dining, recreation and reflection are made a home by superior urban design and the city's well-known hospitality.

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Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Chelsea Triangle, New York City

In 2009, the DOT dedicated part of the existing roadbed of Ninth Avenue to a new triangular public plaza. The space is maintained and programmed by CIC. Visitors to the Triangle can enjoy high quality movable furniture, including chairs, tables, and umbrellas- as well as large planters teeming with seasonal varietals that soften the space for relaxation. Each spring and summer, CIC activates the space with a variety ...more »

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Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Greely Square, New York City

Greeley Square lies between West 32nd Street and West 33rd Street and between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, and is taken up almost entirely by a triangular park.[1] It is named after Horace Greeley, who was the publisher of the New York Tribune, the Herald's rival newspaper. (The two papers later merged to form the New York Herald Tribune.) [2][3] There is a statue of Greeley inside the park, created in 1890 by Alexander ...more »

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Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Sherbourne Common, Toronto

A new 3.7 acre park that sits at the heart of the emerging East Bayfront neighbourhood of Toronto's revitalizing waterfront. The park features a design integrated stormwater treatment facility, splash pad that doubles as a skating rink, water channel and a stunning contemporary pavilion.

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Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Main Plaza, San Antonio

The civic square at the center of the city brings people up off the Riverwalk to connect with local culture and history. Completed in April 2008, the $12 million renovation created a multitude of new additions to Main Plaza. Five new interactive fountains are located in the center, helping create a fun place for kids to play and patrons to congregate and engage the space. http://www.pps.org/great_public_spaces//one?public_place_id=1135&type_id=0 ...more »

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Riverdale Park-Farm, Toronto

A beautiful oasis of calm nestled is the victorian neighbourhood of Cabbagetown. Located in the middle of the City it is a destination of families from all over Toronto and a centre of activity for the neighbourhood. Where else can one find a working farm and park in this setting?

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Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, OH

Located along the Great Miami River and its convergence with the Mad River, RiverScape MetroPark is one of downtown Dayton’s most vibrant public spaces. With more than 400,000 visitors each year, it has become a premiere, year-round community gathering spot since it opened in May 2001. RiverScape includes gardens, interactive fountains, one of the world’s largest fountains at the convergence of the rivers, benches and ...more »

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Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

Bataan Memorial Park

Beautiful use of stone in this small park designed by William S. Perkins, ASLA. Located in Albuquerque and listed on the State of NM registry of Cultural Properties. The park honors the sacrifice of the Veterans of the US Army 200th and 515th Coast Artillery (AA) Regiments, who participated in the defense of the Phillipines at the outbreak of the war in the Pacific 1941

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Virginia Beach Boardwalk

This beautifully realized public space knits together the waterfront commercial district of Virginia Beach, Va. In addition to a broad walking space there is a designated bike path with rental stations along the way, and easy access to various hotels, shops and restaurants. Consistent street elements (lighting, benches, etc.) create a cohesive look. It is as active and welcoming at night as it is during the day -- altogether ...more »

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