While on a recent trip to Washington D.C., I stayed in the Crystal City area. For those who are unfamiliar with the area, it is the home of most of the large defense contractors, along with a large military base not far away, and a number of office buildings. In addition, there's a Metro stop, numerous hotels, a mall, and a slew of restaurants. Overall, it's rather pedestrian friendly and a fairly nice urban place to be on business - though I imagine it's dead on the weekends.
One thing that struck my eye was this pleasant plaza, conveniently located under a highway overpass.
While not an ideal solution (removing the overpass), I did find several people eating lunch in this plaza each day, and it's certainly better than barren concrete. This small, humanizing step toward an inhuman location made it much more pleasant and made me smile as I walked past. This is respecting the urban form and using what we've got to make the best of a bad situation.