This article considers the capacity of art to ‘activate’ public space. After first recognising different ways in which art exists in public space and analysing its meaning - as a place for depiction, as a space for making claims, as a privileged space of relationships to be (re)activated - the text revisits the Dutch Beyond initiative. The project followed the development of a new residential estate, part of the Vinex programme, on the outskirts of Utrecht for almost a decade. It proposed art initiatives and events with the aim of building new awareness, encouraging relationships and above all it anticipated uses and practices in a public space which had not yet been physically constructed. It demonstrated essentially how art has the potential to work as a complex "place making" tool.
Keywords: Art in public space; place making; Beyond project.