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Inga Saffron is the Architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Last month, a smart young writer at the Washington Post named Lydia DePillis wrote a provocative article about cities and families that lit up every urbanists' social-media feed. In it, she observed something parents have known for a long time: Kids are expensive. "Why, from a purely economic standpoint, would a city on the make try to attract families at all?" she asked.
They've reconstructed the space in front of Philadelphia's palatial City Hall, furnished it with a cafe, a high-tech spray fountain and movable chairs, and rebranded it Dilworth Park. But the vast granite prairie is still very much a plaza, with all the weaknesses the word implies.