[Tagging] leisure=common replacement for urban public areas in Africa

Jean-Marc Liotier jm at liotier.org
Tue Mar 5 09:40:57 UTC 2019

The openstreetmap-carto rendering of leisure=common was recently dropped

In Mali and Senegal, I had found leisure=common to be an expedient way to
describe explicitly designed publicly accessible undeveloped
municipality-owned open dirt areas in cities, public squares in the barest
sense, used for gatherings, impromptu soccer games and more generally as
breathing space in a dense urban fabric: it is dedicated to leisure and it
is a common area...

But it did stray a bit from the original British vernacular meaning, which
was akin to landuse=village_green in that the commons are normally grass
covered. So I usually combined leisure=common with surface=ground or
surface=sand to express the African reality... But still - this bends the
concept quite far out of its original shape.

So, though we do not map for the renderer, maybe this is a good time to
find a better tag to map that feature.

My candidate is
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landuse%3Drecreation_ground - and
now that I think about it, I wonder why I didn't use it to begin with.

As I'm the author of a good many leisure=common in Mali and Senegal, my
near-term goal about them is to replace occurrences of leisure=common with
the better term but only in Mali and Senegal.

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