- An open space in a town, not necessarily square in shape, often containing trees, seating and other features pleasing to the eye.
Wikipedia describes it as "a public meeting place" and provides two examples:
- Town square, an open area commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings.
- Market square, an open area where market stalls are traditionally set out for trading.
plaza (plural plazas)
- a town’s public square.
- an open area used for gathering in a city, often having small trees and sitting benches.
Wikipedia is more verbose:
In modern usage, a plaza can be any gathering place on a street or between buildings, a street intersection with a statue, etc. Thus contemporary metropolitan landscapes often incorporate the "plaza" as a design element, or as an outcome of zoning regulations, building budgetary constraints, and the like.
More recently plaza has been used to describe a shopping complex, similar to a shopping mall, borrowing its connotations of a center of cultural life. The name is currently even applied to a single building with some semi-public street-level areas, often with a hotel or office tower above, while mall more often refers to multiple buildings or a street.