The life of a public square forms naturally around its edge. If the edge fails, then the space never becomes lively.


Surround public gathering places with pockets of activity—small, partly enclosed areas at the edges, which jut forward into the open space between the paths, and contain activities which make it natural for people to pause and get involved.

… in many large scale patterns which define public space, the edge is critical: Promenade (31), Small Public Squares (61), Public Outdoor Room (69), Pedestrian Street (100), Building Thoroughfare (101), Path Shape (121). This pattern helps complete the edge of all these larger patterns.

Lead paths between the pockets of activity - Paths and Goals (120) - and shape the pockets themselves with arcades and seats, and sitting walls, and columns and trellises - Arcades (119), Outdoor Room (163), Trellised Walk (174), Seat Spots (241), Sitting Wall (243); above all shape them with the fronts of buildings - Building Fronts (122); and include, within the pockets, newsstands - Bus Stop (92), Food Stands (93), gardens, games, small shops, Street Cafe (88), and A Place to Wait (150)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 599high-confidence