Privatization of public space isn’t just an American trend. Take a look at this sampling from Great Britain, compiled by Jeevan Vasagar in his reporting for the Guardian:
It appears from the scale of the change that privatisation of space is now the standard price of redevelopment. There are privatised public zones across Britain, including Brindleyplace in Birmingham, jointly owned by the property firms Hines and Moorfield, and Liverpool One, owned by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor estate. In Exeter, Princesshay is described as a “shopping destination featuring over 60 shops set in a series of interconnecting open streets and squares”. The spaces here are owned and run by the property group Land Securities and the Crown Estate, which manages the monarch’s property portfolio. Land Securities also owns Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, a waterside complex of shops, bars and restaurants. Bishops Square, which includes Spitalfields market, two squares and historic streets in east London, was sold to JP Morgan asset management in 2010.