Selecting the Right Park Benches for Your Next Public Space Project

The choice of street furniture will always play a crucial role in shaping the design and functionality of public spaces. With so many material choices, designs, and formats to choose from it can be hard to decide what street furniture option best suits individual spaces. 

When specifically looking at benches and seating the options are just as broad. While some seating options look good they might not be the most practical option for that area. Likewise, some seating options may be the most practical and functional but will not match particular public space designs or aesthetic feel. 

Another key consideration for public space seating is its sustainability. With such a heavy emphasis on climate action and the lowering of emissions in 2024 its becoming more important to use products that are less harmful to the environment and more durable in order to avoid regular replacement or repeat groundworks. 


steel street benches

Key considerations for choosing public space seating

There are a number of things to consider that, when narrowed down, can make the process of selecting park benches much simpler. 



There are a number of different materials that are suited for public streetscapes. Most common park benches are made from steel or wood, but are becoming more common in recycled plastic and concrete.

Steel benches are perfect for urban settings where they have excellent resistance to vandalism. Wooden park benches are also quite durable but usully fit quite well into green spaces due to their natural finish.

Recycled park benches are fast becoming one of the bench types of choice for public spaces. 


concrete street benches


Format and Design

In terms of formatting most benches come in a backed or non-backed design. Designs with backrests provide a comfortable option for almost anly greenspace or urban enviornment, providing a clear place for pedestrians to sit. Non-backrest designs are suitable for busy urban settings where pedestrians can sit on either side of the bench.

Modular designs in particular work very well in open town and city plans. Concrete seating, for example, can be shaped or installed to cater for larger spaces such as town centres and college campuses. 

In general most modern public seating should be designed with the user in mind. Age-friendly seating in particular is becoming much more common and can help to cater for older pedestrians. Age-friendly seating utilises an integral assist bar to help boost the elderly, providing safer all-round seating for the older generation.



Sustainability is at the forefront of most long-term urban planning in 2024. While it may have been feasible in the past to repair or replace old or worn street furniture it is no longer sustailable or cost-effective to do so.

Recycled materials are proving to be much more effective and sustainable for public space seating. Benito in particular have created a fully sustainable street furniture range to help create sustainable streetscapes. The Citizen Eco recycled park bench, for example, is made from 8kg of post consumer plastic, with a maintenance-free design that can last a lifetime - ideal for long-term use with no replacement needed. This product in particular has become a core product as part of our Pittman® Green Iniative.

With so many bench options to choose from councils and government bodies may want to opt for more eco-friendly street furniture, with a view to meeting climate action aims and reducing emissions. Opting for eco-friendly materials such as recycled plastic or FSC-certified wood promotes resource conservation and minimises the carbon footprint of street furniture production. 



The area of installation

The area of installation can be major deciding factor for seating and bench types. Because urban spaces are more proned to vandalism it's important to have robust bench options that won't need to be replaced or repaired as often.

Public streetscapes are dynamic environments, subjected to various stressors such as heavy foot traffic, inclement weather, and occasional misuse. In these urban settings, durability isn't just a desirable trait – it's an imperative. Park benches made from robust materials like steel, recycled plastic, or concrete can withstand unpredictable weather, ensuring they remain functional and visually appealing for years to come.

Moreover, durable park benches require minimal maintenance, saving valuable time and resources for local authorities. By investing in benches built to last, cities can mitigate the need for frequent replacements, thereby reducing long-term costs.


wooden street benches


The selection of park benches for public streetscapes is far more than a matter of design preference; it's a strategic decision with lasting implications for communities and the environment. By prioritising durability and sustainability in bench selection, councils can create vibrant, resilient streetscapes that stand the test of time while minimising environmental impact. See the full Pittman® street furniture and local authority range for ideas on your next public space project. 

Street furniture