A pedestrian plaza can be any vehicle-free gathering place on a street or between buildings. Plazas often feature benches, fountains, art installations, restaurant seating, and so on.
Below are some examples of pedestrian spaces around the world.
By Wally Gobetz
Rue Mouffetard, Paris, France
Said by many to be one of the best streets in Paris, Rue Mouffetard has become a popular destination for locals and for tourists. It's a delightful place with a charming atmosphere. There's many reasons to visit this street, including cafes, restaurants, a morning market, and people-watching.
Rue Mouffetard is in most places effectively a pedestrian street (although traffic is technically allowed on it), which accounts for much of its appeal.
Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic
This large town square in the heart of Prague, covered with cobbled stones and surrounded by attractive architecture - including its iconic clock tower, features many places to eat and a lot of people-watching potential. Musicians play throughout the day and the square is lit up attractively at night.
Old Town Square attracts a variety of kinds of visitors from younger people who sit around the art nouveau fountain, to tourists visiting the souvenir market, and diners who sit at the outdoor restaurants in front of the historic Catholic church. It's truly one of Prague's most beloved gems.
Pearl Street Mall, Boulder, Colorado
The Pearl Street Mall proves that well-designed and located pedestrian spaces do work in the US. The 4-block Mall is a renowned must-visit destination for both out-of-towners and locals, who visit in about equal numbers.
With a relaxed, pleasant air at any hour of the day, the Mall features many trees, plants, places to sit, art, climbing structures, a delightful water feature for children, and much more. Over the years, countless entertainers have performed at the Mall, providing many happy memories for visitors.
Although, merchants often complain about homeless people, most businesses also state clearly that they love the Mall; in fact, some businesses say that they wouldn't exist without it.
Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy
"I cannot explain the feeling that came over my wife and I when we turned the corner and saw the iconic City Tower and the Piazza del Campo for the very first time." -- A visitor from California
The Piazza del Campo is the jewel of the historic town of Siena. A large square with a distinctive slope which creates a gentle social inclination, the Piazza attracts people to read, socialize, eat gelato, or sit at one of the many bars/restaurants. Whether or not you spend money, everybody enjoys the relaxed atmosphere here.
Times Square, New York City, New York
Named "the world's most popular tourist attraction", Times Square became a temporary pedestrian space in 2009. The results were so positive that the Square was permanently pedestrianized the following year.
Known as the heart of New York, America’s town square, and the crossroads of the world, Times Square is considered a must-see destination. Lined with hotels, restaurants, shops, Broadway shows, and shining lights, people visit Time Square to take it all in. New York would not be the same without this iconic destination.