Letter: Give us trees and a fountain, not a car park

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The Independent Online
Sir: I applaud your campaign to convert some of the grandest car parks in Britain into public open spaces ('British Museum forecourt viewed as waste of space', 28 April), and I would add to your list the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly.

That courtyard would be ideal for a cafe and the sight of fluttering table umbrellas may tempt many to brave the intimidating archway for the first time.

But not all public spaces should be commercially exploited. Most would benefit from a tree or two, or a fountain, or simply a seat, rather than suffer the numbers of kiosks, market stalls or craft carts that spring up whenever pedestrian access appears.

We should learn to respect and enjoy public open spaces for what they are, namely spaces - which happen to be open to the public.

Yours faithfully,

PHILIP BATTERSBY

Woburn, Bedfordshire

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