Selecting Street Furniture

Selecting Street Furniture

Street Furniture

Street furniture refers to such items installed in urban public places as benches, bus stops, litter bins, traffic barriers and bollards, picnic tables, post boxes, bicycle racks, advertising pillars and kiosks, tree grilles and guards, streetlamps, phone boxes, fountains, planters for flowers, and sculptures. These provide the public with comfort and convenience, assist in road safety, and help keep vehicles off of footpaths and grassy areas. Such items as poster pillars enable both visitors and locals to find out what concerts, theatre productions, and other events are coming up.

Selecting Street Furniture

Since the public purse pays for most street furniture, it needs to be of high quality, which means sturdy and able to endure use by all sorts of people out of doors in all sorts of weather for a long time. Taking shortcuts to save on price can therefore be expensive in the long term. Furthermore, since it’s where many people see it every day it should also be aesthetically pleasing. Another consideration involves those items that are utilitarian and must be kept up-to-date. Public authorities frequently have to make decisions in regard to purchasing items about which they have little familiarity in regard to what constitutes high quality. Many now employ special advisors to help them understand the issues involved.

Identity

Of course, fountains and sculptures and other forms of public art can provide a sense of community and local pride, but distinctive park benches, post boxes, street lighting, bus and tram stops, and even litter bins and public lavatories can also provide a strong sense of local and even national identity. Consider the UK’s iconic red phone boxes, New York parks’ ornamental cast-iron benches, and Paris’s pissoirs. Well-chosen public street furniture can become culturally symbolic and provide a sense of place. Design and colour are therefore important considerations.

Recycled Street Furniture

An increasing number of public authorities, schools, businesses, and others have begun to consider the advantages of recycled street furniture. Although they have traditionally favoured cast-iron, stainless steel, and polished hardwood as the building materials of choice for such items as benches and picnic tables due to their sturdiness and durability, recycled plastic has been appearing much more frequently in recent years. Not only is it considerably more environmentally friendly, it’s also stronger, more durable, and less expensive. Because it’s smooth it’s more comfortable and safer for children to use – which means climb all over – as wooden and metal furniture tend to have sharp edges. It doesn’t rot or splinter, as wood can, or rust like metal, which can also be cold to sit on in the winter.

All The Colours Of The Rainbow

Recycled street furniture can also be made in any colour imaginable, which can provide it with more opportunities to express local civic culture and to create a greater sense of identity. Imaginatively designed and coloured recycled-plastic street furniture can make a city or other locality distinctive and more attractive to tourists and locals alike. Schools, furthermore, can order it in their teams’ colours to enhance school pride.

 

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