Michael Kimmelman on the glory of public squares, which we people desperately need and adore when they have them. Using New York, Palestine, and Berlin as examples, Kimmelman explores the different ways people respond to these spaces. Within the United States, the awful suburbanization of the postwar period drastically undermined public space in the city, though both depopulating the urban center and not building public spaces in the suburbs so that the privatized spaces of indoor shopping malls became the de factor public square, means that as we enter a new period of people desperately wanting dense urbanity, areas that have public squares have become tremendously expensive. A great project would be the creation of public squares throughout our urban spaces, whether in neighborhoods wealthy or poor, suburbs or inner city. They almost always make people’s lives better.