fisher town design

Plaza Design

Plazas are public parks surrounded by streets and shops. Successful plazas like Union Square in San Francisco form the heart of some of the most valuable commercial real estate. They also allow citizens to have a place to gather together. This enhances neighborhood cohesion and social support systems.

Sonoma County has a rich heritage of plazas. Sonoma Plaza (laid out by the Law of the Indies Plan) and Healdsburg (laid out by a business man) are successful plazas. Courthouse Square was very popular and commercially successful until it was bisected by a major road and shops lost the parking that they needed in front of the stores. That square is now finally reunited.

Aerial view of Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma, CA
Aerial view of Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma, CA
Santa Rosa Railroad Square: "Putting the Square in Railroad Square"
Parking Lot near Santa Rosa SMART Station is proposed to be turned into a public plaza.
'Green Plaza Option'
'Piazza' option with wider walkways for sidewalk cafes
Newer plazas in Rohnert Park, Cloverdale, Windsor and Sebastopol function
at a lower level than Healdsburg and Sonoma’s plazas.
Can you predict which plazas will be successful BEFORE they are built? Here is a checklist to help you determine the design features of successful plazas.

Click on the image

Top Plaza Design Principals download
Fisher Town Design gives slideshows to groups interested in how to
integrate these principles into your planned plaza.
Click the image
to download a
slideshow in
PDF format
on plazas:
images of various slides to link to a pop-up slide show
The Town of Windsor CA, built a successful Town Green from scratch. Here is a photo montage of the progress of that plaza. The final, northern side of the Town Green is being planned currently and will likely include a hotel.