Londoners enjoy a concert in Hyde Park

I realise that the Turkish protests are about a lot more than saving Gezi Park. But the fact that preserving green space in the middle of Istanbul is such an issue says something about what public parks symbolise.

I thought about this, in another context, as I flew into London from Seoul on Saturday afternoon. Looking out of the window, as we flew over London, I was struck by the extraordinary amount of land that is still devoted to public parks, or to playing fields, in the very centre of London. The existence of all this green space is a huge part of what makes the city so pleasant to live in. And it it such a contrast to the concrete and neon jungles of the huge Asian megacities, such as Seoul. Read more