This image expresses the solution to a major problem in the present City Hall Plaza experience:
there is a complete lack of People Places. People Places create a sense of belonging and a feeling of a"here and a there feeling" in the plaza experience. Successful public urban spaces have those qualities.
This particular People Place is composed of trees, benches and shrubbery raised flower beds, arranged to protect the daily user from the harsh winds and provide shade when needed in the Summer and good sunlight penetration in the Winter. Works of art provide an uplifting and nurturing quality to the daily life of the users of the People Place.
Hence, one can sit quietly and enjoy the "here" (a "people place" of security and comfort) and enjoy the "there" (the Plaza's focal point, featuring a refreshing, dramatic Water Fountain, and then the nicely defined edge of the plaza beyond, featuring the architecturally historic Sears Crescent). All of the People Places are designed in a manner that is "half open" to the plaza Promenade. Hence, one has the feeling of privacy and, at the same time, connected to the life and action of the pedestrian walking on the Promenade.
Copyright George Kelso May10, 2012