As we all begin to adapt to the long-lasting affects the pandemic will have on our family relationships, social lives, workplaces and retail environments, all tentatively walking out of home-based exile blinking into the sun, there's a new and adapting urban environment waiting for us all.
“Adapt yourself to the needs of the people” ― Sunday Adelaja
With the UK Government pledging billions for changes in infrastructure and aiming to improve social distancing on public transport, schemes such as 'Cycle to Work' surging the numbers of sole commuters on the roads, and pedestrian traffic increasing as walking becomes the easiest method to ensure Covid safety, our streets need to adapt to deliver the 'new normal'. Our heavily built-up streets often mean the available pavement space for socially distant pedestrian traffic is limited and needs adapting to use every inch to it's fullest, so the way the public is interfacing with the environment is facing a radical change.
Street furniture has a privileged role to play, it shapes our society and our interaction with the world, it's a presence in every town centre, every park, every beauty spot and tourist attraction, and can truly shape the character of a destination along with meeting the varying and unique practical demands of each location.
Signage, seating, litter bins, cycle parking, will need to combine to reduce their footprints, removing clutter from our streets, the capability to design this way has always existed, and now we have the support and funding to make it happen.
“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.” — Pauline R. Kezer
Some manufacturers are already accustomed to adapting their furniture to changes in design, materials and environment, and Woodscape are excited to be working with architects across the country on adapting designs and projects to best suit their communities developing needs.
For those locations in need of 'off the shelf' style solutions, we're creating customisations to our standard range, such as this Lincoln shelter that brings together covered seating and cycle storage in one.
Many of our customers have limited available space to work with, they must meet the changing and uncertain future demands of pedestrians and cyclists alike without having additional space to fit cycle racks. A limited budget may also force a choice between seating or cycle parking.
With budgets in mind Woodscape have developed options for their standard range, such as the Type 6 Cycle Bench.
With no increase in footprint from a standard Type 6, the Type 6 Cycle Bench can be used for casual cycle storage at either end, while remaining usable for seating in the middle. With no cycles in place, 2 people can easily sit and maintain social distance. It's particularly well suited for rural locations where seating is being upgraded on existing restricted groundwork, so no need to expand your project scope or budget.
“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.” — Kakuzo Okakura
Making these adaptions in the way we work, and the products we offer, could be seen as an inconvenience, another challenge to be overcome at a time when there are so many other challenges affecting the construction industry. However, our public spaces have never before been so much in the spotlight, so desperate to be well managed, well-equipped and utilised safely, and respect for those needs can offer opportunities which we may not see again for some time.
Let's take this opportunity, and develop it into a chance to make our public spaces the dream environment we've always known them to be.
Main photo Copyright Tetiana Martynenko, Unsplash.
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