Lin Yao Liao. Bench. February 07th , 2018.
Certainly, providing movable furniture opens up the possibility that it might be stolen. However, if the area is supervised by an attendant, or if the furniture is located near another amenity or activity where staff is present, then vandalism and theft become much less likely (Bryant Park reports that just a few of its hundreds of movable chairs are stolen each year). See below for examples of movable chairs in action.
The most important decision that needs to be made in selecting a bench, or any other type of public space amenity, is whether it is needed and whether it will be used. This requires visiting the area and noting the types of seating that already exist; the types of land uses (e.g., shops, offices, residences) that are along the street; and the potential clientele (e.g., office workers, shoppers) in the area who would be likely to use the benches. Locations where people already sit (on steps, ledges, etc.) should also be noted. This type of on-site observation is important in making decisions about where, how many, and what types of benches are needed.
Because many cities are not adequately staffed for a good bench maintenance program, benches are sometimes left derelict and broken benches are left in disrepair. This problem is magnified when people see the neglect and then make generalizations that influence their perceptions or feelings about the entire downtown.
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