Written by Made by Landmark - 21 Nov 2023

The street furniture you invest in for town centres or public parks plays a key role in a resident or visitor’s experience and perception of your community. As a local council, purchasing the right street furniture is a crucial decision for enhancing outdoor spaces, promoting safety, and improving quality of life.

What is street furniture?

Street furniture refers to all the benches, post boxes, bollard lights, traffic lights, cycle stands, traffic signs, sculptures, bus shelters and litter bins that are seen on the street. These are usually around town centres, heritage sites, public parks, train stations, local authorities and other public places. This furniture is used to assist pedestrians and provide comfort, beauty, direction, safety or convenience to residents and passers by alike.

For local councils, selecting and maintaining appropriate street furniture is an essential aspect of urban planning and community well-being.

Street furniture then vs now

Street furniture has been used for hundreds of years and the look and design of each range of items vary according to modern progression and the technology available at the time. More often than not, the economy of the time influenced street furniture. Historically, streets in the UK were enriched with the use of furniture, lamp posts, bollards, drinking fountains, horse troughs and milestones.

Technology, culture and the needs of residents have changed drastically over time and this can be seen in more advanced furniture items placed on the streets. High-quality street lights have replaced Victorian lights, and LED signs can be seen around the city; cycle stands have been joined by the more recent addition of e-bike charging posts, and street signs are now reflective. And as a local council or urban landscaper, it’s important to keep up with these changes. 

How street furniture enhances outdoor spaces 

The careful placement of street furniture in your location will encourage people to be more sociable thereby encouraging community engagement. In town centres, street furniture is the ideal way to give people a sense of ‘place.’ Local authorities or landscape designers will often use street furniture to create attractive rest and waiting areas to draw more people to their area. 

It suggests a warm welcome and encourages people to stay awhile, check their phones or enjoy a coffee while they watch the world go by. This adds to the notion that visiting high streets and other public areas should be an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to interact with others. Having enough street furniture also supports the need for rest places, especially for the elderly and those with mobility issues.  

Street furniture for tackling crime in your area

Some public areas can become crime hotspots if they aren’t properly lit or taken care of. By investing in lighting bollards, litter bins and the like, you can help to make the space more attractive to people while deterring vandals and criminals. 

As a county council, you have a responsibility to public safety and lighting can play a key role in protecting your area from crime. 

Types of street furniture

Benches

Pedestrians walking on the street or who have just come off public transport sometimes require a place to rest and benches provide a sense of relief. Park benches are also very popular places for people to relax, read a book, talk to a friend, watch the world go by, or simply enjoy being in nature. This makes your area more attractive not only to residents but also to out-of-towners. 

Bollards

Bollards are used to influence road user behaviour, protect pedestrians and buildings, and prevent damage to footpaths. These are commonly found in the street, outside schools and in car parks.

Cycle stands

Cycle stands that are placed around busy public areas or town centres provide an easy and convenient place for cyclists to leave their bikes when not in use. They need to rest assured that their bike will be safe and locked up if they need to run an errand. 

Litter bins

Litter bins are placed around outdoor public spaces such as stations, shopping malls, parks and streets to encourage people to get rid of waste in a responsible and environmentally conscious manner. Part of a local council’s responsibility is waste management and having adequate bins placed around the area will avoid litter and promote a clean and healthy environment. 

How to choose the right street furniture for your community

Consider the specific needs of your community when selecting street furniture, focusing on durability, sustainability, and accessibility. It’s important to choose materials and styles that complement the surrounding area and provide long-lasting value for your residents.

For instance, if it’s a natural area like a park then you might consider sustainable materials such as timber for park benches, bollard lights or litter bins. Since the street furniture will be placed outdoors, you will need to consider its durability as the longer it lasts, the less money will come out of the council budget to spend on repairs or replacements over the years. 

Involve residents in the decision-making process by conducting surveys and seeking feedback on their needs and preferences. This ensures community buy-in and investment in the chosen street furniture, fostering a greater sense of ownership and appreciation.

Get in touch for high-quality street furniture 

Contact us to make an enquiry and explore our extensive range of street furniture to find the perfect solutions for your community.

Together, we can create vibrant and welcoming public spaces that enhance the quality of life for everyone.

Written by Made by Landmark - 21 Nov 2023

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