Memorable neighborhoods, towns, and cities are composed of specific types of places that share a unique ability to spark and continuously energize their communities. We have come to call this type of place Everyday Squares. As part of Urban Design Associates’ annual summer program, our Urban Researchers have immersed themselves in Pittsburgh to document, measure, and interview the curators of the Everyday Squares that are leading and sustaining the regeneration and vibrancy of the City’s many great neighborhoods.
The results of this effort are now published in an open-source manual which walks readers through the essential criteria, dimensions, and life that Everyday Squares bring to town and neighborhood building. It is structured to be a useful and intuitive benchmarking and design tool that may be updated continuously using real examples from communities. Although it is dedicated to the City of Pittsburgh, we know through our observations that similar lessons can be found in and calibrated to regions and cultures everywhere.