The Source: City Squares And Engaging The Community

May 11, 2016

As San Antonio deliberates on what to do about Alamo Plaza - what can we learn about the great city squares in the world?

"Squares are not parks," reflects Catie Marron on one essay from the new book "City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World." Marron is the editor of the book and relates that Michael Kimmelman writes "A park is a retreat...You go to a square to be in the midst of things, you go to be with other people."

Squares are places of protest, as with the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China and Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev, Ukraine (pictured above) are forever linked with iconic movements. Public Squares are places for cultural gatherings, government declarations, and societal interactions.

From the Zocolo in Mexico City, the Big Apple's Time Square to Moscow's Red Square, what defines a public square and how does it define a city?