The top five street furniture products helping support town centre social distancing
A year in which street furniture has become a key part in making our streets safer
Street furniture has hit the headlines over the past year as one solution to help urban planners and property developers implement social distancing into their built environments.
Since the start of the coronavirus situation in the UK in March 2020, specialist companies such as Landmark Street Furniture have reported a rise in enquiries and sales. This is to support the movement and social distancing of people in town centres, recreational areas and commercial environment.
So, why has street furniture become such a crucial part in urban and design planning in towns and city centres?
A key component in urban design now and in the future
“Quite simply, street furniture has always been a key component in urban design and planning. From access and direction control to creating intuitive and safe environments for shoppers, visitors and workers,” said Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Landmark Street Furniture.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, local councils had to implement temporary measures to allow the safe passage of pedestrians and cyclists in areas such as town centres. Along with private developers and management companies, it became apparent that long-term solutions would be needed.
“Rather than re-invent the wheel, it was obvious how products such as planters, seating, bollards and architectural studs, could not only help control movement and distancing but also enhance the local environment.”
High streets need permanent street furniture solutions
Robert added: “Thankfully, we’ve moved from temporary road cones and unsightly plastic barriers, many of which could be moved or vandalised easily, to semi-permanent and permanent planters, seating, and landscape structures.
“The importance of cycling was also highlighted as more and more people turned to bikes to get to work, exercise or shop. And this has resulted in demand for secure cycle storage in public areas, residential developments, offices and workplaces.”
So, what are the top five street furniture products that have helped create safer environments over the past year?
Planters provide an easy and aesthetically pleasing way to guide people, cyclists and even vehicles. Suitable for all architectural environments, they come in a variety of materials, including stone, steel, timber and fibreglass. This ensures a design and material can be worked into a modern or historic environment. They can also be incorporated into seating areas.
Maintaining social distancing between people meeting up under Covid-19 regulations in public areas can be difficult. But with carefully planned seating areas and spacing, people can be encouraged to sit responsibly. Designs come in materials including cast stone, moulded, recycled plastic, steel and timber.
Defining areas for movement of people or to segregate traffic from pedestrians can be undertaken with access control products. These range from planters to barriers, door guards and restriction barriers.
Covered walkways are one way of guiding people in all-weather through a particular area. Canopies and walkways can be used to create outdoor avenues between buildings, while keeping pedestrians covered, the open sides ensure fresh air and space.
Simple and effective. But a bollard isn’t just a bollard. From folding bollards for parking areas, to design-led made from materials including polyurethane, recycled plastic, wood and metal. They create guided areas, act as barriers and can also protect architecture and pedestrian zones.
Mr Hawgood said a much broader range of products were generally used in most developments and architects’ specifications.
“We’ve highlighted some of the street furniture products that are generally part of wider schemes. We work closely with clients, such as architects, construction companies, councils and property developers to develop a final scheme that works for that particular environment.”
Landmark Street Furniture, which is based at Caersws in Powys, Mid Wales, has worked with architects, property developers, private landlords, local authorities, rail and transport companies, university and educational establishments and others in providing such solutions.
More details about Landmark Street Furniture’s bespoke design and installation services can be found at www.landmarkstreetfurniture.com.
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