Public benches in urban environment are a permanent feature of any public space. They appear here and there, playing the role of functional structures for the general public. In urbanized spaces, almost every pavement, square or parking lot is equipped with benches, bins, bicycle stands, etc. In addition to a strictly useful purpose, they display some aesthetic values. Although these are objects of everyday use, it is worth adding some effective properties to their design. What characteristics should feature for this equipment to be user-friendly?
Safe public furniture for everyone
City benches are available in public space for everyone to use them. Therefore, when deciding on a specific product, various user groups should be taken into account, e.g. seniors, children, as well as people with disabilities. It is difficult to design a park for everyone, but being comfortable for the widest possible crowd remains the basic requirement.
Universal city benches
“Green” parks often display a combination of bins, benches and bicycle racks. With these three simple things at everyone’s disposal, people will enjoy a comfortable rest, as well as keep a clean and tidy site. The lack of a such optimal solution becomes quickly obvious. Bins filled to the top and bikes lying on the ground become an obstacle on the path, and it’s difficult to go through such a mess. City furniture should be easy to adapt in order to be integrated into the surroundings without any hassle.
Design for small furniture
Although everyone dreams of a unique city space, one should also take into account the investment involved. The more creative and original the equipment, the higher the cost. At the same time, there is no need to opt for low quality. Finding the middle range, deciding on a proven but not boring solution, will prove to be a beneficial approach. If a given space is dedicated to one group of people, the choice becomes easier. For example, a sanatorium or a nursing home should favor higher benches, with backrest and armrest for the convenience of seniors. In a skate park, full of young people, visitors are in constant motion. A good solution is to choose a youth bench, without a backrest but with a footrest. These features are important, however, they are often overlooked at the ordering stage. By sensibly arranging a space, you can make sure that it will be well suited and remain memorable.
Ecological and environmentally friendly public benches
Public benches as urban furniture should also be seen through the prism of ecology. With the concept of zero waste in mind, one should choose durable products made of solid materials, in order to last for years. Instead of replacing them constantly, all you need to do then is repair for them to operate further. Even though wooden benches look like the best solution, the reality is much different. Wood, for all its properties, can quickly get damaged, collects moisture, can warp, attract pests that will feed on it. Therefore, it is safer to use it as an element rather than a frame. Steel is a more sustainable solution. If in addition it has been galvanized, durability of the elements is significantly extended. Cyclic maintenance will contribute to long term service without interruption.
Comfortable city furniture
This is one of the most important factors that should guide the investment. However, it is not always possible to suit the item to each person. A standard bench is no longer enough in itself. More and more, these seemingly simple constructions integrate solar collectors, charger plugs, speakers with music player. These features usually appear in memorials, thematic parks and museum. Artistic installations can also plays the role of a seat, adopting various spectacular shapes. The concept of the bench itself remains the same, but forms and applications are evolving.