dieterdreist at gmail.com
Sun Feb 8 14:47:40 UTC 2015
I appreciate that you bring this up, and share the analysis that neither highway pedestrian nor leisure=* are describing a courtyard (it might be accessible to cars, not accessible at all, could have a leisure related aspect but doesn't have to, etc.).
From a technical point of view they are typically associated with fire protection (way to leave the building, access for firefighters), ventilation and natural illumination, building access (also to lateral and underground building parts) and also parking. Whether or not they exist depends a lot on the depth of the block.
In some cases they have names, rich decoration, ref numbers etc., so a dedicated tag to say "courtyard" is indeed needed/desirable IMHO.
I am not in favour of place (neither locality nor courtyard), maybe building:part=courtyard would be a good tag semantic wise (but unlikely to be rendered on the main style), alternative values might be backyard or court (the latter could be confused with courthouse so I'd not recommend it). If we'd to choose from currently imported keys I'd suggest man_made.
More information about the Tagging