As Ireland slowly moves past the Covid-19 era, we gradually see business and the economy flourish once again. Many companies are now thriving in what is a significant recovery period for the Irish economy. Almost any business that once had to remain shut is now taking full advantage of post-Covid life and is relishing a brighter future for themselves and the economy.
While businesses have used the time to boost their interiors and adapt to pandemic regulations, improvements and upgrades are now being made to outdoor areas. Local councils and business owners are now attempting to boost local streetscapes and further improve business. Furniture comes in the form of outdoor dining facilities, seating areas, and parklet cycling infrastructure rising over the last year.
In Dublin City, street furniture fees have been waived again until 2023, providing a much-needed boost to business owners and councils. The welcome news means that Dublin city businesses can continue to set up outdoor dining spaces and take advantage of the extra space. Further, it was also announced last year by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys that a €7 million fund would be put forward to assist up to 50 rural towns and villages in enhancing their streetscapes shopfronts.
Street furniture, however, goes far beyond outdoor dining setups. While outdoor dining facilities are a significant part of street furniture, they are not the only part that councils and business owners are interested in.
What is street furniture?
Street furniture can be described as any item or equipment installed on roads or streets that serve a purpose to the locality. Generally, street furniture breaks down into several categories, including -
- Park benches
- Picnic tables
- Litter Bins
- Bus Shelters
- Tree Guards
- Public toilets
- Fountains etc.
Street furniture installation in post-covid Ireland
Street furniture will play a significant role across Ireland as we move past the current pandemic. As mentioned before, parklets and outdoor dining spaces will help to boost local business. However, this is only a start for street furniture. As the general population returns to outdoor spaces, more and more will be spent to improve town and city settings. Street furniture can instantly create extra public seats, improved colour and aesthetic and a better general experience in the area.
While it may seem simple, street furniture by design provides physical, practical and visual benefits to an area. Park benches, for example, allow pedestrians to sit and enjoy the space but can also boost local business by encouraging more use of the area. Litter bins can encourage better disposal of rubbish and help to keep towns, cities or greenspaces clean. Street furniture works well alongside streetscapes in that it boosts visual appeal while providing a practical advantage to the everyday pedestrian. Increasing the practicality of the area makes it more appealing for shoppers, tourists and businesses in the long term.
Benito street furniture and the step towards more sustainable streetscapes
Founded in Barcelona in 1992, the Benito range began life with its first bench, the Barcino, named after the Catalonian capital. Benito has since completed projects across five continents and 64 countries. Their range of park benches, litter bins and more have received wide praise in major cities worldwide, tried and tested to make the best product on the market.
While some street furniture adds many benefits to the local area, they are not all “green” by nature. Benito, however, has developed a wide range of furniture made with the environment in mind, ensuring minimal footprint along the way.
The Benito street furniture range comprises several materials, including FSC certified timber and 100% recycled polymers. The Benito Citizen Eco Recycled Park Bench, for example, is made with the hard-wearing Rebnew material, which is designed for long term use in cities or towns. Each bench board equates to a massive 8kg of post-consumer plastic, significantly increasing recycling while decreasing the need for new materials.
Why does street furniture need to be more sustainable?
Sustainability aims to reduce waste and energy usage drastically without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In a nutshell, sustainability means reducing waste and energy to safeguard the future. Furthermore, production methods also need to change to reduce carbon footprints. Now more than ever, sustainability is at the forefront of government plans and objectives and news outlets, social media and more.
The Benito range provides a more sustainable street furniture range while never compromising user comfort or visual appeal. The materials used mean that new materials are needed less and less and are less harmful to the installed area. In addition, if ever disposed of, the items can be recycled to make new street furniture material, thus starting the process over again.
Additionally, more sustainable street furniture like Benito can also lead to
- Faster production times
- Reduced costs of production
- Reduced need for maintenance
- Reduced risk of damage
- Easier repair if damaged
The key benefit that sustainable street furniture brings to local authorities is that it is essentially maintenance-free. A reduced need for maintenance means that products are installed without the need for regular checks or repairs. Recycled options are also much more robust than standard street furniture, significantly reducing the need for replacement furniture after a few short years.
The Benito Citizen Eco Recycled Park Bench mentioned before offers a maintenance-free design for life. The plastic design will not chip, crack, rot or dry up outdoors, which is highly suited to the unpredictable Irish weather. Even if the bench is scuffed, it can be easily repaired with sandpaper and a blowtorch - which the below video will demonstrate.
Have an upcoming street furniture project? Contact our experts for more information on the Benito range and our other street furniture products. Boost streetscapes and improve cities and towns instantly.