A public space is a place that is generally open and accessible to people . Roads (including the pavement), public squares, parks and beaches are typically considered public space . To a limited extent, government buildings which are open to the public , such as public libraries are public spaces, although they tend to have restricted areas and greater limits upon use. Although not considered public space , privately owned buildings or property visible from sidewalks and public thoroughfares may affect the public visual landscape , for example, by outdoor advertising . Recently, the concept of Shared space has been advanced to enhance the experience of pedestrians in public space jointly used by automobiles and other vehicles .
Public space has also become something of a touchstone for critical theory in relation to philosophy , (urban) geography , visual art , cultural studies, social studies and urban design . The term ' public space ' is also often misconstrued to mean other things such as 'gathering place', which is an element of the larger concept of social space .
One of the earliest examples of public spaces are commons. For example, no fees or paid tickets are required for entry. Non- government -owned malls are examples of 'private space ' with the appearance of being ' public space '.