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Old September 2nd, 2008, 04:32 PM   #81
Koen Acacia
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Originally Posted by WeimieLvr View Post
Maybe you can stop your silly stereotypes of Americans and any other groups that you label because you don't know any better...think that would be a good idea? I could have shown sarcastic surprise at the condescension coming from Europe, but apparently I'm not as small-minded as you.

I didn't say either was better or worse...just that squares and plazas in the U.S. are typically smaller and greener...and that parks are usually the larger meeting spaces.
Relax, it was just a joke, sheesh.
The reason that those European squares have the size that they have is, as has been pointed out already, that that's the size they need to be. On several occasions, actually, they're not nearly big enough to pack all the people.
Parks are not unheard of in Europe either, it's just that those serve a completely different function.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 04:58 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Koen Acacia View Post
Relax, it was just a joke, sheesh.
The reason that those European squares have the size that they have is, as has been pointed out already, that that's the size they need to be. On several occasions, actually, they're not nearly big enough to pack all the people.
Parks are not unheard of in Europe either, it's just that those serve a completely different function.
Relax, I know it was a joke...a lame, tired one. Try to come up with something new - or better yet, something funny. Stereotypical American jokes are very 1980s.

I understand the purpose, as has been pointed out already, of European squares. My point, as has been pointed out already, is that they are huge swaths of concrete or pavement - why is that such an adored, beautiful addition to the city? A square with some greenery seems like a much better option, or even a huge park with open space for large crowds.

You simply restated what has already been discussed about squares without addressing anything from my post.

Savannah...famous for its historic, green squares, the core of which were created by General James Oglethorpe in 1733.
image hosted on flickr
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/gailpeck/1012538692/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mchavs/2788960676/

image hosted on flickr
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/paxtonholley/2405020473/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianeden/382820074/

Last edited by WeimieLvr; September 2nd, 2008 at 05:11 PM.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 05:47 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by WeimieLvr View Post
Relax, I know it was a joke...a lame, tired one. Try to come up with something new - or better yet, something funny. Stereotypical American jokes are very 1980s.
Pfft. At least that's just a stereotype. All that whining about "concrete squares" isn't even true.

Quote:
I understand the purpose, as has been pointed out already, of European squares. My point, as has been pointed out already, is that they are huge swaths of concrete or pavement - why is that such an adored, beautiful addition to the city? A square with some greenery seems like a much better option, or even a huge park with open space for large crowds.

You simply restated what has already been discussed about squares without addressing anything from my post.
1. Concrete squares are the very, very rare exception, they're not the rule by far. The squares have stone pavements, which is simply not the same thing.
2. I still think that you simply do not understand their function. We're not talking about a handful of people taking a stroll while sipping sherry and chatting about how superior they are, we're talking about very large crowds. On the bigger events, even a city with 50,000-ish people will see crowds north of 10,000. Those (granted, beautiful!) shrubberies in your pics wouldn't last five minutes on those days.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 05:49 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeimieLvr View Post
I understand the purpose, as has been pointed out already, of European squares. My point, as has been pointed out already, is that they are huge swaths of concrete or pavement - why is that such an adored, beautiful addition to the city? A square with some greenery seems like a much better option, or even a huge park with open space for large crowds.

You simply restated what has already been discussed about squares without addressing anything from my post.
Nice parks there, but we also have them in European cities, Pretty much every city has their main large park (or parks) and many also have green squares with trees as well.

But parks cannot usually serve the same purpose as paved squares. For one, if there are trees they will obstruct views during public performances. Of cause large parks like Hyde Park in London which also have vast open green spaces can get away with it, but usually there are trees everywhere. Also, grass has a tendency to get damaged when large crowds congregate on them, so they are expensive to repair unlike paved squares. Can you imagine weekly busy markets in a grassed environment? There will be nothing left after a couple of months.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 05:51 PM   #85
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Actually, on an related note. One thing I don't understand about some squares in France is when they are not paved, nor grassed, but have this dusty gravel instead. It is especially common in Paris. What is the point of this. a) they actually look ugly. Paving or grass is simply more attractive than gravel. b) as soon as any sort of wind blows up, all the dust from the gravel blows everywhere making the surrounding streetscape a mess and getting in your eyes.

Seriously, anyone have any idea why these haven't been paved over yet? We don't get any of these in Germany, and except for a couple I have seen in Spain it really seems like a French thing.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:17 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koen Acacia View Post
Pfft. At least that's just a stereotype. All that whining about "concrete squares" isn't even true.



1. Concrete squares are the very, very rare exception, they're not the rule by far. The squares have stone pavements, which is simply not the same thing.
2. I still think that you simply do not understand their function. We're not talking about a handful of people taking a stroll while sipping sherry and chatting about how superior they are, we're talking about very large crowds. On the bigger events, even a city with 50,000-ish people will see crowds north of 10,000. Those (granted, beautiful!) shrubberies in your pics wouldn't last five minutes on those days.
Whining? You're pathetic. What a nasty response.

All the photos I've seen in this thread in addition to the squares I've personally seen in Europe have been CONCRETE OR PAVED SQUARES. They are not a very, very rare exception...you aren't speaking to someone who doesn't get out much...

A handful of people (100,000+) at Dave Mathews Band concert in Piedmont Park...the same park I posted a photo of...and the shrubberies survived...
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:20 PM   #87
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Nice parks there, but we also have them in European cities, Pretty much every city has their main large park (or parks) and many also have green squares with trees as well.

But parks cannot usually serve the same purpose as paved squares. For one, if there are trees they will obstruct views during public performances. Of cause large parks like Hyde Park in London which also have vast open green spaces can get away with it, but usually there are trees everywhere. Also, grass has a tendency to get damaged when large crowds congregate on them, so they are expensive to repair unlike paved squares. Can you imagine weekly busy markets in a grassed environment? There will be nothing left after a couple of months.
That's why we have parks for large gatherings...parks that are well maintained and cultivated that include paved pathways...so the grass won't get damaged.

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Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:35 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by WeimieLvr View Post
Whining? You're pathetic. What a nasty response.
Ah, look who's starting with the personal attacks. I am not the one who's trying to pick a fight here, you are.

Quote:
All the photos I've seen in this thread in addition to the squares I've personally seen in Europe have been CONCRETE OR PAVED SQUARES. They are not a very, very rare exception...you aren't speaking to someone who doesn't get out much...
This is getting tiresome... For the umpteenth time: "concrete" is not "paved". Yes, those squares are paved, often in a quite beautiful way. That's not the same as a "concrete slab" no matter how many times you keep saying that.

Quote:
A handful of people (100,000+) at Dave Mathews Band concert in Piedmont Park...the same park I posted a photo of...and the shrubberies survived...
First off: that concert doesn't exactly seem feasible in that park you posted before, now does it?
Second: if those European squares posted in this thread are too big for your tastes: how would you describe Piedmont Park on that picture? Tiny?
Thirdly: what exactly is the point you are trying to make here? Europeans hate nature? What are you arguing exactly?
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:42 PM   #89
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Would you please lay down the battle axe for a moment, and just consider the possibility that I am not attacking you in any way here..
One simple question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeimieLvr View Post
That's why we have parks for large gatherings...parks that are well maintained and cultivated that include paved pathways...so the grass won't get damaged.
What would it cost, just in terms of maintenance, to keep that park the way it is now, while holding a large weekly market in that lawn?
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 12:28 AM   #90
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Actually, on an related note. One thing I don't understand about some squares in France is when they are not paved, nor grassed, but have this dusty gravel instead. It is especially common in Paris. What is the point of this. a) they actually look ugly. Paving or grass is simply more attractive than gravel. b) as soon as any sort of wind blows up, all the dust from the gravel blows everywhere making the surrounding streetscape a mess and getting in your eyes.

Seriously, anyone have any idea why these haven't been paved over yet? We don't get any of these in Germany, and except for a couple I have seen in Spain it really seems like a French thing.
I've already seen squares with gravel in the past, but I don't recall any in Paris. I think it used to be the case of the Louvre esplanade before they built the Pyramid, but I was so young I cannot say for sure. Generally speaking, the problem of squares in Paris is that they are covered of car traffic, not of gravel.

Anyhow, I do remember having seen squares covered with gravels when I was younger, but I think those are quickly disappearing. French Municipalities made strong efforts to rehabilitate their squares in the 20 last years. I could mention Rennes, Montpellier, Lille, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Bordeaux... The most obvious example of empty concrete square I can think about is the esplanade in La Défense. It may not be covered of gravel, but it's still desperately bland. With all the offices around, it's really a mystery to me that the place isn't covered with terraces of restaurants, cafés and bars.

Anyway, the main problem of French towns and cities is about squares being used as park places. This is actually very common, and rather sad. In Rennes, many of them have been rehabilitated with a park place being dug below, but there are still many around in France, especially in smaller towns.

Last edited by Metropolitan; September 3rd, 2008 at 12:44 AM.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 12:44 AM   #91
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That's why we have parks for large gatherings...parks that are well maintained and cultivated that include paved pathways...so the grass won't get damaged.
I doubt the grass would last long under a market set up every week. That is why they are done on paved squares.

You know European cities also have such parks.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 12:52 AM   #92
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I've already seen squares with gravel in the past, but I don't recall any in Paris. I think it used to be the case of the Louvre esplanade before they built the Pyramid, but I was so young I cannot say for sure. Generally speaking, the problem of squares in Paris is that they are covered of cars, not of gravel.

Anyhow, I do remember having seen squares covered with gravels when I was younger, but I think those are quickly disappearing. French Municipalities made strong efforts to rehabilitate their squares in the 20 last years. I could mention Rennes, Montpellier, Lille, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Bordeaux... The most obvious example of empty concrete square I can think about is the esplanade in La Défense. It may not be covered of gravel, but it's still desperately bland. With all the offices around, it's really a mystery to me that the place isn't covered with terraces of restaurants, cafés and bars.

Anyway, the main problem of French towns and cities is about squares being used as park places. This is actually very common, and rather sad. In Rennes, many of them have been rehabilitated with a park place being dug below, but there are still many around in France, especially in smaller towns.
There are still plenty in Paris. I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and noticed them. In fact, the one around the Louvre is still there, although they have paved over the small section around the Pyramid.

Here is an example below, and although this is a nice area with trees they can also cover entire squares. I just don't know why they are not paved. Although it looks nice here, when the wind blows it is a horrible place to be.

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Old September 3rd, 2008, 01:00 AM   #93
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There are still plenty in Paris. I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and noticed them. In fact, the one around the Louvre is still there, although they have paved over the small section around the Pyramid.

Here is an example below, and although this is a nice area with trees they can also cover entire squares. I just don't know why they are not paved. Although it looks nice here, when the wind blows it is a horrible place to be.

image hosted on flickr
Ah ok. I didn't think you mentionned something that sandy... This is just ground. Ground in Paris is very sandy. Indeed, we have a lot of places like that, but those are in parks, not on squares. I guess it's because we have poor gardeners.

Last edited by Metropolitan; September 3rd, 2008 at 01:05 AM.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 01:14 AM   #94
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Ah ok. I didn't think you mentionned something that sandy... This is just ground. Ground in Paris is very sandy. Indeed, we have a lot of places like that, but those are in parks, not on squares. I guess it's because we have poor gardeners.
Actually, Parisian parks can be very beautiful, lots of green, lush grass etc. But these have been done for a reason, one I can just not fathom. And there really are still squares like this. Here is another example I have found.

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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:15 AM   #95
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Actually, on an related note. One thing I don't understand about some squares in France is when they are not paved, nor grassed, but have this dusty gravel instead. It is especially common in Paris. What is the point of this. a) they actually look ugly. Paving or grass is simply more attractive than gravel. b) as soon as any sort of wind blows up, all the dust from the gravel blows everywhere making the surrounding streetscape a mess and getting in your eyes.
There's lots of these in Barcelona. You're missing point c) Stray dogs pee on the dust
There's also some hybrid ones which are half-dust, half-pavement. They look quite ghastly (I should know, I live on one...!)

Last edited by el casanovas; September 3rd, 2008 at 04:20 AM.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 09:20 AM   #96
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^ So what's the reason?
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 10:42 AM   #97
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To play Boule?



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Maybe it is just cheap to maintain.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 03:03 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koen Acacia View Post
Ah, look who's starting with the personal attacks. I am not the one who's trying to pick a fight here, you are.



This is getting tiresome... For the umpteenth time: "concrete" is not "paved". Yes, those squares are paved, often in a quite beautiful way. That's not the same as a "concrete slab" no matter how many times you keep saying that.



First off: that concert doesn't exactly seem feasible in that park you posted before, now does it?
Second: if those European squares posted in this thread are too big for your tastes: how would you describe Piedmont Park on that picture? Tiny?
Thirdly: what exactly is the point you are trying to make here? Europeans hate nature? What are you arguing exactly?
Dumbass. That's all I have to say to someone like you. You start shit with your nasty responses then try to be the great mediator. You are a dumbass. Period. See ya!
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:01 PM   #99
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One of my favorite big squares in Europe has to be Ban-Jelačić-Square in Zagreb.



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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:17 PM   #100
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These areas are what really make European cities IMO.

Unfortunately in the UK a lot have ended up being car parks. Public spaces do seem to be returning though, in london we've seen it, Nottingham also and Leeds and Manchester have made progress.

In small villages are towns though which normally have a small square, its just a car park until the market day...
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