[Architecture] Response that Melbourne’s Federation Square Voted as One of the World’s Best Public Squares

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Where I read the article:

Melbourne’s Federation Square voted one of the world’s best public squares

Commentary:

I’m surprised that it’s already August, but what’s more unbelievable is this…

This news came to me totally by surprise. I still remember how Melbournians were blasting how the Federation Square was a total disaster years ago.The random designs, the boring atmosphere and the visual eyesore.

“Often voted one of the ugliest places due to the deconstructivist style of the buildings, the square has come to be very successful. Why so? Well, with a constant stream of entertainment, dining and free Wi-Fi, it’s always busy with people.”

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Ah.

‘Free Wi-Fi’ – I don’t see how free Wi-Fi would help to make Federation Square one of the world’s top public squares, given that so many other places offer free internet. I think I have used the free Wi-Fi in Federation Square a couple of times before. Nothing special. It wasn’t lightning speed fast and yet it wasn’t like my home Dial-Up internet 10 years ago (Yes I am old).

Constant stream of entertainment – I have mixed feelings about this one. I do agree that Fed Square has a lot of community events happening often, whether it was the Multicultural Victoria Festival back from March, the place where Queen Elizabeth II visited back in 2011 and where everyone gathers for New Years Eve. However, I still think that Federation Square is quite empty. It feels like a large space just to walk by. Inside the Federation Square apart from ACMI (great place to go by the way), there’s basically a book store, same cafes and gift stores. To become one of the world best public spaces I would have certainly wanted more.

It’s always busy with people – Sometimes when it’s a sunny day yes I agree there are quite a lot of people sitting on those long benches.

Don’t worry. I don’t hate Federation Square, I just think it could have offered much more given that it’s in the centre of Australia’s cultural capital city. It’s not as bad as what everyone thinks and 6th place I guess is fair. I have completely nothing wrong with the architecture design (it has the Australian style feel) and I like how it’s a very relaxing and casual place. Easily accessible public transport (tram lines across the road, Flinders St Train Station on the other side, tourist shuttle bus right outside) and nice music everywhere are also bonuses. Some entertaining street performances. You name it.

A look at how other public squares were ranked against the Fed Square:

“BEST IN THE WORLD

1. Naghsh-e Jahaan Square, Isfahan, Iran

2. Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy

3. Red Square, Moscow, Russia

4. Trafalgar Square, London

5. St Peter’s Square, Vatican City

6. Federation Square, Melbourne

7. Rynek Główny, Kraków, Poland

8. Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru

9. Times Square, New York

10. Tahrir Square, Cairo”

I’m surprised that Fed Square overpassed New York’s Time Square by a noticeable three spots, given that it’s so much more famous. Visually, Time Square beats Fed Square by a million bucks, but maybe it’s the loud and crowded atmosphere in Times Square that’s unbearable. Period.

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