A plaza or pedestrian plaza is an open urban public space, such as a city square. Throughout Spanish America and the Spanish East Indies, the plaza mayor of each center of administration held three closely related institutions: the cathedral, the cabildo or administrative center, which might be incorporated in a wing of a governor's palace, and the audiencia or law court. The plaza might be large enough to serve as a military parade ground. At times of crisis or fiesta, it was the space where a large crowd might gather. Like the Italian piazza, the plaza remains a center of community life that is only equaled by the market-place. Most colonial cities in Spanish America and the Philippines were planned around a square plaza de armas, where troops could be mustered, as the name implies, surrounded by the governor's palace and the main church. A plaza de toros is a bullring. In the US, they can be used to open spaces for low income neighborhoods, and can also the overall aesthetic of the surrounding area boosting economic vitality, pedestrian mobility and safety for pedestrians. Most plazas are created out of a collaboration between local non-profit applicants and city officials which requires approval from the city. In modern usage, a plaza can be any gathering place on a street or between buildings, a street intersection with a statue, etc.
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