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Sep, 2017

5 Innovative Public Square Design Ideas

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Innovative public square design can improve neighborhood morale, increase home values, generate more retail sales, plus so much more. No space needs to go wasted, not with these great public square design ideas implemented in some of the world’s most highly trafficked locations, such as Times Square in New York City.

We played a role in the development of all projects listed below. Our durable planters were used to complete each picture-perfect public square. There’s a reason our planters are continually chosen for high traffic areas:

  • They are impervious to the elements.
  • They can withstand impact damage, drastic temperature fluctuations, and just about anything else thrown their way.
  • Thanks to their resin-based non-porous material, graffiti does not stain planters. You can wipe surfaces clean using a little elbow grease and a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser® Wipe.
  • They are lightweight + easy and affordable to transport.
  • Our products are made right here in the USA using sustainably sourced materials and earth-conscious manufacturing processes.

5 Pedestrian Plazas Created With Our Planters

1. Times Square Plaza in Manhattan, New York

Times Square is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet and as a result it’s congested with people every single second of every single day. The famous Square’s previous design left it highly crowded with cars and pedestrians. The redesigned Times Square is a much more functional space with wider pedestrian walkways and a plaza complete with seating.

“We saw retail sales soar along the corridors where we put bus lanes and bike lanes and pedestrian plazas,” Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City’s transportation commissioner between 2007 and 2013, told NPR station KCR. Shortly after renovations were complete, Times Square was awarded as one of Crain’s Top 10 Retail Locations around the globe.

TerraCast planters are used throughout Times Square to beautify the space. Our planters were specifically chosen for their durability—you can hit, throw and even mark our planters with graffiti, and yet still, they remain in supreme condition.

2. Pearl Street Triangle Plaza, in Brooklyn, New York

Pearl Street was the first public square redevelopment project Ms. Sadik-Khan worked on in NYC. The success of this project helped fuel the redevelopment of other sections of New York, such as Times Square. Back in the day, Pearl Street contained small sidewalks, roadways and an awkward collection of parking spots. Post renovation, Pearl Street offers a nice public square for people to congregate, hail an Uber, jump on the bus, or just enjoy the neighborhood.

Our planters are proudly featured at this public space, because what’s a square without some pretty pops of color from plants and trees?

3. 6 ½ Avenue in Manhattan

This revamped public square earned itself a street marker that reads 6 ½ Avenue, a tribute to Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾. The renovation included the expansion of pedestrian space and the addition of large TerraCast planters overflowing with greenery.

4. Baruch College

Baruch College had a largely unused road running between campus buildings and so they decided to turn it into a public square for students. The renovated student plaza includes TerraCast commercial planters, which are used as a beautiful barrier to outline the space.

5. Sunset Triangle Plaza

In Los Angeles, the City Planning Commission turned a generic street in Silver Lake into a pedestrian plaza that features TerraCast step planters. The planters provide a barrier between Sunset Boulevard and the people walking and dining outside.

What Do These Successful Public Squares Have in Common?

1. Public Square Planters

First and foremost, we are proud to point out they all include TerraCast planters!

2. A Place to Sit

If a public square is large enough, add at least one or two areas where people can sit and enjoy the space, wait for a friend or the next bus. This will encourage people to congregate here, as opposed to just passing through.

3. Something Worth Talking About

Maybe it’s a unique name like 6 ½ Avenue, or a fun installation people can climb inside of, whatever is, the best public squares have something unique to offer. Give people something worth talking about, something that sets your square apart from the rest.

4. Sustainability

A successful public square must pass the test of time. It’s important to consider the longevity of each feature and product used to outfit public squares. Maintenance is something else you want to avoid as much as possible. Go with native plants, rust-free furniture and no-maintenance planters– or else run the risk of spending a fortune on maintenance all the time.

Sustainability also relates to how products, labor and materials are sourced. Public squares are all about brightening areas for everyone, we believe this level of care should be engrained into everything about a project. That’s why we make all our planters right here in the USA using sustainable materials and earth-conscious manufacturing processes.

5. New Opportunities

Most importantly, public squares should breathe new life to a location. For instance, Baruch College turned a hardly-used street into a popular student plaza. Utilize every inch of space to your advantage and watch the benefits pour in. We are here to help any way we can; shop our vast selection of planters: http://www.terracastproducts.com/our-shop/planters/

Don’t forget to check out our lighting systems and site furnishings too!

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