For the newer urbanized areas, here's a cool idea. A web site called PARK(ing) offers the idea of erecting a temporary pocket park in a parking space.
We identified a site in an area of downtown San Francisco that is underserved by public outdoor space and is in an ideal, sunny location between the hours of noon and 2 p.m. There we installed a small, temporary public park that provided nature, seating, and shade.I like this idea.
Our goal was to transform a parking spot into a PARK(ing) space, thereby temporarily expanding the public realm and improving the quality of urban human habitat, at least until the meter ran out.