In Britain, there is a burgeoning desire amongst citizens to change the unused public space around them. Generally, spaces are recreated to be "more playful, less predictable, even slightly utopian," writes Andy Beckett.
"For at least half a century, Britain has been a center for experiments in land use: city squats in the 60s, rural free festivals in the 70s, raves in the 80s, anti-roads encampments in the 90s. These experiments have often been an irritation to the authorities, but they have also subtly shifted official thinking about public places."
Beckett thinks the way Britons treat public space has changed for good: "We have a limited amount of countryside and indifferent weather, so there is only so much mileage in our natural sublime. It is in the built environment that much of our potential lies. And one based on driving and shopping, besides being environmentally disastrous, will always be a bit too boring to keep us all occupied."