Urban furniture – a fancy word for small equipment that you can see all around the streets and parks.
This category includes public litter bins, smoking stations, benches, bike racks, flower planters, and much more. You see these elements every day when you are walking along the street or entering a building. It’s common to have at least a litter bin at the entrance of the buildings.
You can also spot elements of urban furniture when you’re taking a bike to work, to a coffee shop, or just for a stroll along the streets. The bike racks become your parking spaces for which to keep an eye out.
Urban furniture influences both private and public spaces because it’s all around us. Both entities are interested in a good visiting experience of their people or customers. They both want the same thing from the furniture, to have the best value and quality for their money. There are more options to use the furniture in your favor other than practical value.
The character of the products is starting to get attention
Owners of public spaces are becoming more interested in letting go of the standards. They are looking for new styles and bold ideas as something worth considering.
What they are looking for is character, something that sets them apart from everyone else.
It brings us to a whole different ballgame where quality starts to overcome quantity. The design and durability of the products start to matter more than the sheer number of items.
Using urban furniture as a multi-tool is also beginning to take flight. Entities requesting their symbols or company names engraved into the wood. Having clever idioms labeled onto the bins. Seeking to laser cut city emblems into the trash bin’s body. They are using the equipment as a marketing tool for their company or municipal. Which is a smart thing to do if you think about it.
Besides the value that comes from the practical use of these items, they add value by being different, and more thoughtful. Doing so, the people will start to take more notice of them.
The times are long gone when trash bins, benches, and other park equipment were such ugly things. It’s becoming trendy to use bold colors and structure. It indicates that they are special, they are caring towards the environment, and they are bold.
These are the messages that resonate with people of our current time; it’s what speaks to them.
Long term sustainability takes an important position
Decision makers are starting to choose sustainability over counting the costs. While the latter is also important, this shift in policy and mindset allows us to get the best value for the money, not just the cheapest option. The low-cost option is not always the best choice. While it can serve its purpose in the short run, it’s becoming much more expensive in the long term.
Buying good quality furniture can last for decades if it is made to sustain changing weather conditions, and vandalism. Comparing to some of the cheaper options, that can last for a few years, if lucky. There is a difference between a litter bin and a litter bin.
People in the positions of power are getting more educated about the different material choices they have. Buyers are asking for more specific requirements of the material of the products before the purchase or procurement.
These requirements are a welcome sight to see. They ensure that the product, either procured or purchased straight from the vendor, is made to last, made to sustain in our climate for a longer time.
Few specific notes which keep popping up from the orders are indicating the minimum thickness of the steel, having the steel hot-dip galvanized, and applying a protective finishing for the wooden parts of the product.
Having more durable and lasting items saves companies and municipals money by making the period between purchases longer. In some cases, the need to buy new furniture disappears altogether. It all depends on the quality of the material that is used to make the product.
Promoting a green, more friendly environment
A topic that has our ears moving every time it comes up publicly. It has been the hottest theme in the recent years and still continues to gain ground every year. Our environment needs care, no doubt about it. It also requires to be kept clean from rubbish and needs to be sustained for years to come.
Promoting these values a few years back was the responsibility of the organizations built to engage with this topic. Recently, this mentality has started to change. A larger number of public and private organizations are starting to step in to give their support for the cause.
In the field of urban furniture, we can feel this change by looking at the increasing use of litter bins and other park furniture every year. It shows that people are more aware of the changes our race is bringing upon this world, and are more willing to contribute towards a solution.
Having more equipment on our streets; offering more possibilities for people to discard their trash and sort it; making the furniture a part of the environment – these are the stepping stones towards contributing to a greener environment for all of us.
It helps to promote recycling, and even making our streets cleaner and more beautiful for tourists and citizens alike.