Planning a Successful Neighborhood Square

Insight from Barcelona and Portland on how to plan and design an active, welcoming neighborhood square.
November 29, 2018, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Stephanie Braconnier

Dr. Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard writes with advice on how tot approach the planning of a neighborhood square, first distinguishing the neighborhood square from a city square:

Unlike a city’s main square that, from time to time, brings together representatives from all over the city for major festivals, concerts, and special events, a neighborhood square has certain unique social functions: it is frequented every day of the year by those who live in the neighborhood; it helps to strengthen social networks; and it builds community.

Those special functions require a special approach, according to Crowhurst Lennard. Those special functions are best embodied by European-style neighborhood squares. Successful examples in the Unnited States are scant, according to the article, Crowhurst Lennard cites the Conway Master Plan in NW Portland, launched over a decade ago, as a case study of a planning process focused on creating a neighborhood square.

The article proceeds to go into great depth about the proportions of the park, the heights of the surrounding buildings, and examines case studies from abroad, like Plaça del Raspali, Plaça del Diamant, and Plaça de John Lennon in Barcelona.

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Published on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 in The Western Planner
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