Urban public open spaces are an important part of the urban environment, creating the framework for public life. The transformation of open space into successful public places is crucial in this regard. In the context of target-driven performance it is essential to identify the value of successful public open places, along with characteristics that define them. This research evaluated three case studies in Belgium (Namur, Wavre and La Louviere) which successfully transformed spaces into lively public open places. The transformation was captured by means of before-and-after imagery and analyses, and evaluated in terms of space-usage prior to, and after redesign, along with the experience and added value that the redesign brought to the area.