Street and park furniture provide character, aesthetics and convenience to our streets and parks. So what factors should one keep in mind when selecting furniture to install on streets and parks? First, we need to understand the value this furniture adds to our lives and why they are important assets to have. Street and park furniture range from street lighting, street benches to an array of traffic signage and more that play a critical role in improving the quality of life in the cities, towns, and even villages.
Street furniture has many uses and practicalities, for example, benches have a purpose plus makes our landscape appealing, bins provide aesthetics plus help keep waste in place before they are transported to dumping places. Due to the powerful messages, our designers use to convey this furniture, our designers and architects are actively involved in the planning and installation of these assets. Some of the impacts we get through installing these assets on the streets and parks include; tourist attractions, recreational activities, and encourage people to visit areas where otherwise it could be difficult to find people dwelling in. Other street assets such as litter bins help keep the environment clean while providing aesthetics.
Here are factors to consider when selecting street and park furniture:
Usage: the first thing to consider before buying a piece of street furniture is who will use it and for what purpose. Will it help elderly people, middle-aged people, or kids, or will it cut across the spectrum? Will it be commercial outdoor furniture for alfresco dining in style? This will help you decide the size and the height of the furniture to install. Planning of this furniture will help decide who will benefit the most when the furniture is installed on the street. A survey might be recommended to find out who will benefit the most when installed.
Material: this will determine what kind of material works best when installed outdoors. When selecting a material for outdoor furniture, it should be sturdy enough to endure long-term exposure to weather elements. Otherwise, it won’t make economical sense to install furniture that will require repair or replacement annually. The best street furniture should be non-corrosive, and resistant to weather elements to withstand constant expansion and contraction due to weather changes. Another important factor to consider is vandal resistance, so that thieves cannot uninstall overnight or when there are no people around. Anodised aluminium and moulded wood have properties suitable for street furniture.
Aesthetics: Consider installing street furniture that compliments the landscape and showcases features of heritage and character. Street furniture should showcase style and visual effects that are appealing and attractive for maximum utilisation of these assets and most importantly to give a sense of place.
Maintenance: furniture in the streets should stand the test of time without needing repair or maintenance, hence all furniture installed on the streets should exhibit sturdiness, strong enough, and durable to require low or no maintenance.
Safety & Security: for a good reason, all street furniture should be fastened with bolts and nuts onto the ground to maintain stability over a long time of use. To attract more users, this furniture should be stable enough and has enough lighting during wee hours for security reasons. People will not have peace of mind using street furniture at night when there is not enough lighting.