I’m kind of in love with the idea of parklets. Have you heard of them? They are popping up in many cities, but are probably most well known in San Francisco (here’s a map of all current and future locations).
The idea is to temporarily reclaim streets or public right of ways to turn them into public plazas and parks (parklets) as part of the pavement to parks initiative. Here are some examples:
via Ruth Miller
In a city where 25% of the surface is pavement (mostly devoted to the car), the idea is to turn some of it into public park areas that people can gather on to drink coffee, socialize, or just take a break.