There’s an idea in city planning called “informal urbanism.” Some people call it “do-it-yourself urbanism.” Informal urbanism covers all the ways people try to change their community that isn’t through city planning or some kind of official process. If you’ve put up a homemade sign warning people not to sit on a broken bench, that’s DIY urbanism. If you’ve used cones or a chair to reserve your own parking spot on a public street, that’s also DIY urbanism.
Gordon Douglas has written a whole book about this idea called “The Help Yourself City.” It looks at all the ways people are taking matters into their own hands. Both for good reasons and for incredibly selfish ones.