Ideally, street furniture has the intention not only to provide its functional properties such as settings for resting, sitting, eating and social encounters, but to also create an identity and establish a sense of place within a public space. Many urban spaces don’t offer the correct or enough of the appropriate street furniture pieces that are required, deterring visitors from these locations. The inclusion of correctly chosen street furniture comes with an experience for the community, not just the pure practicality of the product. Thoughtfully selected and placed furniture can encourage people to spend more of their time in outdoor spaces and increase the enjoyment of the activity. The required furniture pieces for a park environment to achieve this include:
✔ Seats & Benches
The most common furniture piece that is expected in urban spaces are park seats and benches. They are the simplest means of providing resting and sitting areas in well frequented environments where seating opportunities are required. Park seats need to fulfil its purpose as well as satisfy comfort requirements of visitors to ensure user engagement within the park.
Park seating needs to cater for aged and disabled visitors also, which is a common factor that is not always correctly considered. We have a wide range of DDA compliant furniture pieces that are specifically designed to cater towards these specific visitors in an inclusive way. Wheelchair accessible settings also offer seating options for a combination of users to engage in the same setting for social activities.
✔ Tables / Picnic Settings
Park tables are the perfect addition to a singularly placed park bench or seat as it immediately creates a table setting. This is a perfect way to create ample seating spaces for larger groups of visitors within the park to socially engage, complete work tasks or share a meal. There are multiple Astra tables available that are DDA compliant so that those with disabilities are able to make use of community furniture also.
Picnic settings such as the Astra Liverpool range are one uniform picnic setting which is a simple yet practical setting that is ideal for placement within a park environment. Picnic setting units contribute to the aesthetics of its surrounds whilst able to withstand continual use that would occur in such an environment. Picnic settings are the all-in-one package when it comes to street furniture within a park environment as they provide a place to sit as well as a place to rest supplies/food, laptops etc.
✔ Litter Bins
It is crucial that there is always sufficient litter bins accessible to visitors within a park to ensure rubbish is continually disposed of correctly. Park environments endure a high volume of waste and recycling products. This is because it is a common place for people to pass through in their travels, especially when located near public transport stations and also when situated near other park facilities such as park benches and tables for relaxing, working and eating activities. The correct implementation of litter bins creates a more pleasant park experience as visitors feel more obliged to dispose of their rubbish when a bin is easy to access. Even though some visitors may not always adhere to correct waste stream implementations, at least the rubbish won’t end up in the natural habitat of the park’s wildlife. To create increased awareness around waste and recycling and to encourage correct rubbish disposal, take a read here on how to make waste separation more obvious in parks and community spaces.
✔ Bike Racks
Parks endure a high level of bike traffic especially when they are located near public transport stations, shopping centres and fast food outlets, as more motorists are trading in their opal cards for riding their bike to and from their destinations. It is a more convenient and a healthy substitution for using public transport, even more so for those that are easily able to make the switch to get between locations. With more bike parking facilities available within an environment, users are encouraged to make the switch to cycling, providing a safe place to park their bike when not in use. Implementing strategic bike parking in a park’s parking facility also offers more parking spaces per car parking spot compared to what a car would generally occupy. Continue reading here if you want to be educated on how bike parking will benefit your local park or greenscape area.
✔ Shade Structures
In park environments that don’t offer a sufficient amount of natural shade, shade structures are the perfect alternative. An affordable and aesthetic solution is café market umbrellas as they are available in large shapes and sizes with various colours which will comfortably provide an abundant amount of shade across a whole table setting or a bank of park seats and park benches. As the sun moves, the shade structure can move along with it, if required, across a large landscape area. It is suggested that if the park furniture pieces aren’t under shade, every few settings and park seats and benches should be covered with a shade structure such as an umbrella to ensure there are covered options for those visitors that are wanting to sit under shade and out of direct sunlight.
Another solution is installing aluminium covered picnic settings in parks and greenscape areas to provide seating with already attached shade coverings. This can be another cost effective solution by purchasing all-in-one covered picnic settings.