Parque Colon in Santo Domingo seems to have it all--an exemplary urban designer's case study! It's a finely proportioned open space, ringed by fine buildings and anchored by a magnificent church. Beautiful trees provide shade, color and a sense of scale. The sculpture of Columbus and its pedestal function as art that doubles as seating for people watchers. There's a selection of sidewalk cafes and benches at the edges for eating, drinking, seeing and being seen. The open areas, shaded areas and cafe tables offer plaza patrons varied experiences and the all-important aspect of choice. The one classic feature that seems to be missing is water in the form of a pool or fountain, though that doesn't seem to inhibit the park's use in the least. It seemed full of both locals and tourists, even in the heat of the day. I've seen contemporary plazas costing millions in cities all over the world that aren't nearly as loved or used.
I created this sketch quickly during the Sketchcrawl as a donation for the Urban Sketchers silent auction. I'm honored that it now lives with Shari Blaukopf!