Looking at the Project for public spaces website I wondered if the only good places to live are expensive ones ;-)
They note the contribution a public library can make to effective public spaces.
But if we look upon these elements as interrelated components of a single place, we create more opportunities for local people to collaborate and jointly create a vision of what's best for the community. How can the street, park, library, and businesses support and strengthen each other? What do business owners, library employees, and nearby residents envision for the area? By simply observing and listening to the people who live or work or play in the area, the solution to what the place needs will become apparent. [Project for Public Spaces (PPS) - Placemaking for Communities - What If We Built Our Cities Around Places?]And link to this LA Times story about public libraries in south LA:
"Libraries tell a community that they're valued," said Peter Persic, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Public Library. "What it tells people is that whether or not they live in Hyde Park, the Palisades or Porter Ranch, they have equal access to information and resources." [Library Gets a Warm Welcome]Glancing over these, I was reminded of Ken Worpole's work with public libraries and place in a European context (see here, here and less recently here for example). See his library photo gallery. He also has interesting materials on other public spaces, among them lidos, which includes a couple of picture of the wonderful Brockwell Park Lido which we lived near for a while in London.