In most of the worlds best public spaces and public squares you will see stone pavement and in many of them the stone is porphyry. Stone raises the level of importance of the space and when that stone is porphyry the beauty and sustainability can bring special meaning. Porphyry is also an affordable choice.
What makes some places succeed while others fail?
For more than 35 years, Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has acted as an advocate and resource center for Placemaking, continually making the case that a collaborative community process that pays attention to issues on the small scale is the best approach in creating and revitalizing public spaces.
PPS developed The Place Diagram as a tool to help people in judging any place, good or bad.
Imagine that the center circle on the diagram is a specific place that you know: a street corner, a playground, a plaza outside a building. You can evaluate that place according to four criteria in the red ring. In the ring outside these main criteria are a number of intuitive or qualitative aspects by which to judge a place; the next outer ring shows the quantitative aspects that can be measured by statistics or research.
In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that successful ones have four key qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit.
In its broadest application, Placemaking is a catalyst for building healthy, sustainable and economically viable cities of the future.
Project for Public Spaces
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Their pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.
Great public spaces are where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges take place, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, neighborhood schools – where we interact with each other and government. When the spaces work well, they serve as a stage for our public lives. Take time to look at the best examples of these at this link http://www.pps.org/articles/uscanadasquares/ North America’s Top 10 Public Squares
Place Diagram credit PPS
Porphyry’s composition determines its high compression strength, resistance to stains, slip resistance, and high freeze/thaw ratings. The stone is the most popular paver in Europe, and is favored for its flexibility in design, beauty, durability and low maintenance requirements. ADA Compliant Porphyry pavers are also adaptable to a permeable paving set. The stone is by far one of the most durable pavers in the world. These materials are available from Milestone Imports. – www.milestoneimports.com