Street furniture has an important role in creating a community that is more liveable and appealing. Benches and tables in public spaces provide areas for socialising and relaxing outdoors. Signages help create order and provide direction, bollards aid in safety, and so on.
As the times change, city furniture remains as important. However, the design and purpose are evolving. Today’s designers are challenged to create public spaces that keep up with the current needs of society and shape environments which achieve their long-term goals.
Here are some of the recent trends which are becoming more common in cities or towns.
Street furniture can create or further promote the identity of a particular community if properly integrated into the public space. Take the red telephone booths in London, for instance. Even if they aren’t used for their primary purpose any longer, they remain an integral part of the city’s identity and urban landscape.
It is becoming more important to understand the community and its identity as well as its needs. For example, in Australia, there are certain suburbs where residents are mostly of the ageing population. As such, public spaces should be more senior-friendly. Designers can incorporate benches that aid with mobility and lighting which enhance visibility at dark.
To create designs which are ideal for your community, it helps to work with designers who are familiar with the locality. For example, if you are located in Adelaide, work with the Lonsdale-based Spark company if you want to buy street furniture Australia designers made. They have been providing landscape infrastructure products and projects for over 30 years to the Australian market. Get to know more at sparkfurniture.com.au.
A major challenge for city furniture designers is how to encourage the public to actually use the furniture for their intended purpose. One factor identified is to place them in the appropriate spots. For example, waste receptacles should be in heavy traffic areas instead of in empty spaces where they are usually located and left unused. This encourages the people to actually place their trash in the bins since they are conveniently within reach.
Appropriate placement can also make the space feel more welcoming and relaxing and can make the public feel more involved with their outdoor environment.
Innovative Australian street furniture design is becoming more common. Aside from functionality and aesthetic appeal, sustainability and technology are key components of the design process. In addition, as climates grow harsher over the years, designers are also working on improving durability and maintenance.
Smart street furniture
Smart and responsive devices and home environments are the norm in today’s technologically advanced world. More city planners and urban developers are seeking to bring the smart and responsive concepts to public spaces.
It is not surprising to find street furniture in Australia which also serve as charging stations and Wi-Fi hubs while functioning as park benches or bus stops too. There are even waste bins which can calculate the weight and temperature of the contents, as well as streetlights which are controlled by smartphone apps to increase their brightness. An outdoor digital signage can trap, harvest, and collect water which is stored in a reserve tank.
It won’t be long before you’ll find robot wheelie bins picking up trash in the park.