There’s hardly anywhere today where people are not talking about the environment. We constantly hear of global warming, going green and all the other lovely terms we use to describe the efforts we make to improve our environment.
But is that all that there is to it? Is it just about planting trees, recycling and the likes? Certainly not! Taking care of our environment also involves ensuring it looks and feels great. While all of the above mentioned activities do really contribute to this, one important aspect that may not be receiving as much attention as it should is street furniture.
What is Street Furniture?
Interestingly, this is a term that is not used globally. It’s only used in countries like the UK, Canada and Australia to describe any objects or items placed on the road, streets or other public areas for different purposes. You can read more about it here.
Examples of Street Furniture
These furniture are around us everywhere we go but for the purpose of clarity, here is a list of some items that fall into this category: waste receptacles, benches, bollards, traffic barriers, phone boxes, post boxes, streetlamps, sculptures, traffic lights, bus stops, traffic signs, taxi stands, tram stops, memorials, fountains, watering troughs, public lavatories and many more.
Benefits of Street Furniture
There are numerous benefits that the items listed above and those not listed bring to any environment. For a better understanding of these benefits, we will look at a few of them.
One of the very obvious benefits these furnitures offer is the aesthetic value it brings to the environment. When you look at any park around you, bus stations, water fountains and other such structures, you can immediately see how they make those environments look more visually appealing. Without these structures and items, our environments will be dull and practically lifeless.
Frederic Blerot, an Architect, has challenged designers to think more directly about how their designs can do more like help people meet and socialize. This is already a benefit of some of these furnitures like park benches, water fountains etc. However, they are likely just by-products and not the original intention.
In the hustle and bustle of the city, busy streets or roads, the right furniture can help keep things properly coordinated. They can be used for stuff like creating demarcations that make traffic flow easier, creating sections where people can wait for their transportation and more. Without proper coordination, our modern day environments will be totally chaotic.
This is one of the most important benefits. Just imagine that people did not have a way to cross a busy street and everyone just had to jay walk. Accident rates will skyrocket. Lives have also been saved because of the protective line that some of these furnitures provide. An example is structures that prevent vehicles from running off the streets and unto the curb or walk ways. There are so many safety benefits that we can and do enjoy with the right street architecture or structure. Read this to learn more: http://www.pedbikesafe.org/pedsafe/countermeasures_detail.cfm?CM_NUM=2
This is almost a continuation from the point above. A perfect example for this is the street light we now take for granted. How safe do you feel walking at night on a street without proper lighting? Some of these street items can be used to improve the security of the environment.
Direction and Navigation
Before the advent of navigation systems, we relied on the good old street signs. Even with our Google maps and other navigation systems, we still need these physical signs to confirm what our navigation system says. It will indeed be very scary if for reasons street signs were no longer available.
Health and Relaxation
Walking down the street, you suddenly feel a wave of nausea and really need to sit down briefly. You immediately look for the nearest bench and sit until you get yourself back together. Now imagine there were no such provisions? You will likely just collapse.
Can you also imagine a park without benches and other areas where you can relax? This ability to just sit down and relax is critical to our well-being.
Choosing the Right Furniture
From the list above, there could be the thinking that the task of putting up these structures or items falls squarely within the domain of the governments. If you however visit the website of any of the street furniture suppliers, you will find lots of designs and ideas that you as an individual can incorporate into your own immediate environment.
Your environment is actually very malleable. You can create whatever kind of environment you want if you have the right tools. Take a close look at your environment today and begin to visualize your ideal setting. If you can’t think of any, search for ideas and then get the right street architecture to create for yourself the kind of environment you desire.
Frequently Asked Question
Life Between Indoors and Outdoors?
Life indoors and outdoors depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. However, if you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity and enjoy more natural sunlight, then a balcony or rooftop could be a good option. Additionally, if you work in an environment with low light levels (such as law enforcement or medical professionals), sunglasses can help to improve your vision while protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. And lastly, spending time outside in nature can benefit both mental and physical health by providing respite from stressors and promoting overall well-being.
When Street Furniture Becomes Outdoor Art?
Street furniture often becomes outdoor art when it is customized to match the architecture of a building or placed in strategic locations to create an eyecatching aesthetic. This can be done by repurposing old wood parts into sculptures, painting them bright colors, and adding embellishments like lights or spikes. In some cases, street furniture is even themed according to the neighborhood it’s located in, such as urban streets featuring sleek metal benches near busy intersections.
By displaying street furniture in creative ways, businesses and residents can extend the life of these items by making them more visible and appealing while also promoting community interaction and unity. Moreover, by creating unique places for people to sit down during warm weather months or evenings when they’re out shopping or dining nearby, Street Furniture can become a vital part of any cityscape!
Health Benefits of Immersion in Nature
There are many health benefits that can be gained from immersion in nature. Here are just a few:
1. Improved mood and well-being – Spending time in nature has been shown to improve mood and well-being, as it encourages a sense of peace and tranquility.
2. Improved cardiovascular health – Spending time in nature has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, as it reduces stress levels and promotes healthy blood pressure levels.
3. Improved mental health – Spending time in nature has also been shown to improve mental health, as it reduces anxiety levels and encourages a sense of well-being.
4. Improved sleep quality – Spending time in nature has been shown to improve sleep quality, as it reduces stress levels and promotes a healthy environment for sleep.
Bringing the Great Outdoors Inside
Bringing the great outdoors inside can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to be safe when doing so. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Use a quality product – When it comes to outdoor furniture, make sure you’re using a quality product that will withstand the elements. Consider things like materials, construction, and how well it will hold up over time.
2. Use proper safety measures – Always use proper safety measures when outside, including wearing a helmet, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Make sure to keep an emergency escape plan in place in case of any emergency.
3. Be aware of your surroundings – When you’re out and about, be aware of your surroundings and stay alert for any dangers that may be lurking around. This includes things like wildlife, flooding, and lightning strikes.
4. Respect the environment – Always take care to respect the environment by using sustainable practices when building or repairing your outdoor furniture ornaments. This way, you can help preserve our natural resources for future generations!