Combining an authoritative text with hundreds of superb photographs, this richly illustrated volume presents a comprehensive survey of the historical development of the square through a selection of striking examples. Organized geographically, this presentation of the most important city squares and squares in smaller towns worldwide offers a concise overview of the Italian and European conception of public space, along with its export and reinterpretation elsewhere. The book retraces the pivotal moments in the history of the square, from the 14th century to the 21st century, ranging from the austere Gothic style to the harmonious proportions of the Renaissance, from the Baroque quest for the spectacular to the restraint of Neoclassicism, and from 19th-century to modern day urban planning. The squares the author presents are those that have most significantly served as models--both in their own times and in subsequent centuries. Spotlighting St. Peter's Square in Rome, Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, Red Square in Moscow, Place Vendôme in Paris, New York City's Times Square, and Pershing Square in Los Angeles, this book features some of the world's best known and most influential public spaces.This important resource belongs on the bookshelf architecture students, architects, urban planners and anyone else interested in global architecture.