As the value of public spaces comes into focus, this article shares seven case studies of street furniture being used to help improve community wellbeing. Both tactical pop-ups and permanent installations are featured below, with examples of projects that foster community engagement and measure social impact. Street Furniture Australia products have been tried-and-tested to activate spaces and deliver results. Select from our range to bring life, joy and comfort to your community. Case 1. Creating Millions of Smiles Woden Experiment was a six-month prototype installation by the ACT Government that aimed to bring life, joy and comfort to Canberra’s Woden Town Square. Brightly coloured seats and tables were configured in random positions to create a casual and welcoming vibe. Community interviews, observations and workshops were at the heart of this …
My Park Rules breaks asphalt at Marrickville PS
Children from Marrickville Public School in Sydney took up shovels with Lucy Turnbull AO and federal MP Anthony Albanese, to break through the infamous asphalt that helped to win the school a $100,000 playground makeover.
Street Furniture Australia is proudly contributing Escola Platforms, Benches and Slim Benches to the new playground, with eco-certified Jarrah battens and powder coated frames in bright Sensation Orange, as an official My Park Rules sponsor.
The My Park Rules competition, run by 202020 Vision and AILA, searched nationwide in 2016 for the most creative pitches to green up local play spaces. The Marrickville students submitted a video entry showing the hard, hot expanses of asphalt in their yard and how they’d like to see it transformed.
“This fantastic team of students and school put in a video entry that had an outstanding number of public votes. This area was in dire need of a greener future,” said Shahana McKenzie, CEO of AILA.
With no green sods in sight to turn, the students tackled the asphalt with the dignitaries to begin construction on their new, greener, play space, first imagined last year and soon to be a reality.
“It became a research project that was part of our science unit, to come up with a playground proposal by researching design, safety standards and nature play. The students interviewed the other kids at the school to find out their needs,” said a teacher at the ceremony.
“On winning the state competition we were awarded with our very own landscape architect, Julie Lee from Tract. The kids worked with Julie to further their designs for the national competition. She really went above and beyond in the support she gave.”
Lee says the winning project is now underway and should emerge in the next two to three weeks, under the management of contractor Landscape Solutions.
“This is a culmination of quite a long period of initial research, winning the national competition, developing the design and bringing on board our sponsors and donations. We have been working very closely with the students and Landscape Solutions,” says Lee.
“To me, the most important part of this project is that we are greening a very urban, inner city area, and the students are going to be in touch with nature once again.”
Guest of honour Lucy Turnbull, who was also on the jury for the competition, said it was fantastic “for the kids to get involved as future community members and, who knows, great construction leaders and designers and landscape architects.
“This is an incredible result of collaboration and action, to improve the quality of the open space in this school, which I’m told by Mr Albanese is one of the oldest in New South Wales. It’s great to bring the students’ ideas of what makes a good schoolyard and great design to an old building with a lot of heritage and collective memories.
“The kids are the great imaginers and innovators of how this space could be. It is wonderful that the young people of tomorrow are building a public park here and a great schoolyard.”
Anthony Albanese, Federal Member for Grayndler, added, “We are the most urbanised country on the planet, and we need to make sure that we green up our cities.
“This project is an exciting collaboration of local and national businesses, to realise a vision that’s come from these young people to make their school a better place. It will benefit the kids who come through this school for generations to come.”
In March, Torrens Primary School in Canberra became the first to complete a green playground transformation as a pilot project for My Park Rules.
Jess Miller from 202020 Vision, and an Independent Councillor for the Clover Moore Team at the City of Sydney, says the two flagship projects are intended to inspire a raft of improvements for schools and the community nationwide.
“In the past couple of years we’ve spoken with hundreds of schools across the country, engaged with landscape architects, kids and parents to share insights into how to make green space happen in their own urban areas with the best practice design principles.
“We need to get more plants and trees into our communities. Targeting schools, parents and children in particular, to highlight all of the brilliant benefits of green space, builds capacity to make that happen across the community.”
Sponsors and partners for the Marrickville project include Andreasens Green, Austral Bricks, Austral Masonry, Australian Council of State Schools, Benedict Industries, Fleetwood Urban, Gosford Quarries, Greenline, Hills Bark Blower, Inner West Council, Landscape Solutions, Sam the Paving Man, SESL Soil Testing, Soilbond, Street Furniture Australia, Sydney Airport and Tract Consultants.
With the students and dignitaries at a safe distance, the Landscape Solutions bulldozer set to work on the asphalt, making way for that hard-earned green.
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What happens to public space when everything moves outside? To create room for social distancing in the pandemic recovery period, restaurants, bars and cafe tables are spilling out onto city streets, writes Feargus O’Sullivan for Bloomberg CityLab – sometimes skipping past the sidewalk and into parking spots and vehicle lanes. “The movements of these private businesses into new spaces pose new challenges about who gets to occupy outside spaces that are increasingly in demand,” he says. “Reopened parks, one of the few place to freely and safely congregate during coronavirus, are frequently packed. Many streets already have sidewalks filled with lines of people waiting to enter stores enforcing a low customer capacity. Add a new range of table service businesses to this busy streetscape, and issues about who get priority …
Six women passionate about landscape joined the International Women’s Day breakfast table with Street Furniture Australia, to discuss equality and this year’s theme, #BeBoldForChange. Industry veteran Oi Choong says landscape architecture encouraged her to be bold from the start – to her, it was a “joy” of the profession. “It was a new profession, so you were able to reach your tentacles everywhere. We were allowed to extend our vision and be bold. We experimented, we tried to integrate with other disciplines. We claimed our territory,” she says. With more than thirty years of practice in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, China and the UAE, the current Consulting Partner with Context says offers to work internationally were joyously formative in her early career. “They gave me the opportunity to leap in, almost blindly, …
Marrickville Public School is the winner of the $100,000 My Park Rules competition playground transformation. The contest, hosted by AILA and 202020 Vision, encouraged schools to submit ideas on how to reinvigorate their outdoor spaces. Jury Chair Kylie Legge, from Place Partners, says the winning New South Wales school’s community spirit inspired the jury of landscape and greening experts, which included Lucy Turnbull. “The community of students, staff and parents illustrates how the creation of a shared vision can also be a call to arms to be the change you want to see in the world,” she says. Expanses of hard asphalt will be lifted to make way for green space, including an orchard zone to grow food with the local community. Tract Consultants designed the new space in collaboration with the school. Proud sponsor …
Close to 100 pleas for new parks have flooded in for the My Park Rules competition, with eight state and territory finalists teaming up with leading landscape architects to pitch for the coveted playground makeover. The judging panel, including Lucy Turnbull AO, Sacha Coles from ASPECT Studios and Mary Jeavons from Jeavons Landscape Architecture, will consider each pitch in March, and announce the national winner on May 1. Street Furniture Australia is delighted to be an official sponsor of the competition. Highgate Primary School in Western Australia, which received 870 votes to propel it into the state round of the contest, will bid to transform bitumen and sandy yards under the guidance of UDLA. Snug Primary School in Tasmania, paired with Playstreet Urban Design, dreams of transforming empty fields from out-of-bounds to creative fitness haven. Sydney’s …