Lin Yao Liao. Bench. February 07th , 2018.
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.
Thirdly, people can arrange chairs how they like, to sit nearer or farther apart, and move them around to either sun or shade (click on the video clip above to see movable seating in action). This choice allows people to exercise their options to sit near an event, or away in the quiet, wherever they may feel more comfortable. Many times, they will leave them right where they are, or move them just a few inches. Notable examples of movable seating can be found in Paris`s Luxembourg Gardens and New York City`s Bryant Park.
Sometimes benches are vandalized. There is no bench that is vandal resistant. However, being aware of the likelihood of vandalism in particular areas can affect the type of bench selected for that area. The best solution to vandalism lies not in the type of bench used, but in developing an understanding of what types of vandalism occur, at what times, by what types of people, and then in trying to develop a program that will prevent it from occurring. The key to preventing vandalism in a downtown is locating benches where adjacent storeowners will assume some responsibility for their use and maintenance.
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