City planning has an important role in the design and layout of a downtown. This plays a role in a lot more than just the look of a downtown area. Proper use of , street furniture also known as site furniture, has a big role in how a city looks, feels, and functions.
For example, public transportation is critical to business centers and downtown areas. Transit stops are a type of street furniture that can completely change the feel of waiting for the bus or the train.
Quality street furniture in the form of transit shelters allow for a clean and welcoming place to get out of the elements while waiting to commute. Envision using quality, clean and inviting transit shelters compared to drab, dreary, and graffiti covered shelters. Which is more likely to be a part of a thriving downtown community?
This is also true for benches. Comfortable, ergonomic and attractive benches provide a place to sit and take a break from the busy day in the city. Using specifically placed street furniture like benches help to make for a better city and downtown area.
Using bollards can provide lighting and help to direct traffic and keep people safe. Bollards can be used to keep traffic from areas where people gather. They can also be lighted to help to mark a pathway to provide a safe path for people to walk.
Bike shelters and bike racks are great for providing a safe and organized area for people to lock up their bikes. Compare that to bikes that you have seen that are locked to street signs or other newspaper stands.
Surprisingly to some street furniture. Planters can complement the benches, tables, and trash receptacles. The planters bring some green and life to the city and help to make an downtown area much more appealing.
Trash and recycling receptacles help with keeping the city clean. They don't have to be the ugly metal trash cans. Quality street furniture will be attractive trash and recycling containers that match the areas benches and tables.
So it is easy to see why street furniture is so important to city planning and urban development. Street furniture allows for a city to be more of a community, an area to gather, share and experience life together. Ugly street furniture or poorly planned street furniture makes for a city that is more chaotic with less order. It also makes it feel more like it is just a spot to go to work, not a community.
Next time you are downtown, stop and observe the site furniture and its design and flow around you. Does it invite you in or does it make you want to move on and just go from point A to point B?
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