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18 of the most beautiful public spaces in the world, according to urban designers

Business Insider Logo By Leanna Garfield of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 19: <p>Cars clogged the streets of Borehamwood, England, an outlying suburb of London, for decades. But in the mid-1990s, the town added new pedestrian-only areas to its center.</p><p> The change transformed the town, according to Esther Kurland, the director of Urban Design London, a nonprofit that connects urban designers and planners in the city.</p><p> "This was one of the first 'traffic calming' shared space schemes in the country," Kurland tells Business Insider. "And I was fascinated in how the behavior of both drivers and pedestrians changed." </p><p>Borehamwood is just one example of the way innovative public space can improve the lives of an area's inhabitants. To find more, we reached out to urban designers and planners around the world. They told us about spaces that have been game-changers for cities, that inspired them to go into the field, and that they simply find stunning.</p><p> Here are 18 of the world's most beautiful parks, libraries, streets, and plazas, according to people who design them for a living.</p>

Cars clogged the streets of Borehamwood, England, an outlying suburb of London, for decades. But in the mid-1990s, the town added new pedestrian-only areas to its center.

The change transformed the town, according to Esther Kurland, the director of Urban Design London, a nonprofit that connects urban designers and planners in the city.

"This was one of the first 'traffic calming' shared space schemes in the country," Kurland tells Business Insider. "And I was fascinated in how the behavior of both drivers and pedestrians changed."

Borehamwood is just one example of the way innovative public space can improve the lives of an area's inhabitants. To find more, we reached out to urban designers and planners around the world. They told us about spaces that have been game-changers for cities, that inspired them to go into the field, and that they simply find stunning.

Here are 18 of the world's most beautiful parks, libraries, streets, and plazas, according to people who design them for a living.

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