Now this is a true piazza in design and proportion, just the right scale, surrounded by restaurants and entertainment, always full of people, and even located in the U.S. Unfortunately, the second and third floors are not offices and apartments and it’s a tourist attraction in a Las Vegas resort on the Strip.
The point here is not to rip on all the things Las Vegas does wrong, but to learn from what happens when the top designers in the world focus on building places that compel people to walk into a place and exclaim, “Wow… let’s stay here a while” – which is exactly what most people did. Resorts are one of the best laboratories of place-making innovation.
There is no reason why we can’t build an authentic version of this, with local stores and vernacular architecture, with the same commitment to the comfortable human scale; lack of cars, parking and streets; and ring of cafes with outdoor seating. Ok, so most cities don’t have the budget to hire the world’s top designers, but they already did most of the research for you in built form.