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 …
Trend Watch April 2020
Is Play a Cure for Loneliness?
Communities that connect through play are well-placed to support each other in times of crisis writes Alison Stenning, Professor of Geography at Newcastle University and play streets activist, for The Developer.
Stenning has published a report looking at the benefits of organised neighbourhood play sessions in the UK grassroots movement Playing Out, where streets are temporarily closed for games and chalk drawing.
“Playing out’ is not just about play and not just for children,” she writes, as neighbours of all ages are encouraged to participate and form new relationships with others who live on their street.
“These new connections enable and are reinforced by a proliferation of contact between neighbours outside of street play sessions. Neighbours lend and borrow equipment, ingredients, and occasionally money. They look out for each other and each other’s homes, pets and, sometimes, children. They play and spend time together between sessions, on the street and in each other’s homes,” says Stenning.
“These new relationships connect neighbours in vulnerable situations, whether with ill-health, or elderly, or recently separated. Through the connections made in playing out sessions, neighbours learn each other’s names and much more about their everyday lives, including their struggles.”
The necessity for social distancing during the current coronavirus pandemic has curtailed the way people are able to play and spend time together. However, communities need each other now more than ever, with reports of isolation magnifying the risk of loneliness in the general population, particularly for older people.
Some communities are trying to overcome this with social-distance dance parties on the street, local heroes dressing up in costumes to entertain the neighbours, teachers visiting students in car convoys, and parents organising virtual playdates.
How to Look Professional on Work Video Conference Calls:
There’s a learning curve for most of us new to telecommuting. The New York Post and Harvard Business Review share tips on how to run productive virtual meetings, with polished presentation.
First, some thoughts from the New York Post on how to look presentable during work video conferences – including framing, lighting, sound, outfits, backgrounds and pet etiquette.
Now that you’ve covered your on-screen presence, Harvard Business Review writes that it’s all the more important to run focused, efficient meetings when your colleagues are not in the same room.
Follow best practice for meetings and set clear objectives, and send a pre-read if appropriate. During the session, use an agenda, set ground rules, take breaks, and clearly outline next steps (including timing and accountabilities) after each section and at the end of the meeting.
Other gems include making video-first the norm, testing technology ahead of time, minimise presentation length, use ice breakers and encourage all of the team to participate.
Read the full article on What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting.
Aluminium woodgrain, also known as ‘Wood Without Worry,’ provides the warm look of timber – retained over time – with the minimal maintenance requirements of powder coated aluminium. Where timber requires oiling every three months to keep it at its best, simply wipe down woodgrain aluminium with a clean, damp cloth every few months as required. See the new Wood Without Worry brochure. Enquire Now Select from five beautiful shades of wood: dark to light and cool to warm. Some Wood Without Worry battens require end caps. If this is the case, you may choose to match the end cap with the colour of the frame or batten. case studies Warm Tones Helping clients achieve a low maintenance, warm colour palette. Moore Street, Canberra by NettleonTribe.Aria Seat (CMA1) and Simple …
Designing streets for kids: Released in August by the Global Designing Cities Initiative, “Designing Streets for Kids,” offers strategies and solutions to redesign urban streets and public spaces by focusing on the needs of kids and caregivers, with the goal of making streets beautiful, fun – and safe. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people ages 5-29 globally, and traffic congestion and vehicles contribute to high levels of air pollution, which is responsible for the death of 127,000 children under the age of five each year, the guide’s authors said. Many of these deaths, they said, can be dramatically reduced through kid-friendly street design. Read the Forbes article, How to Make Streets Kid-Friendly by Tanya Mohn. Image: A street in Fortaleza, Brazil, designed according to ‘Designing Streets …
Eerily Empty Public Spaces During Coronavirus: The Atlantic has published a gallery of eerie images from around the world, showing what happens when quarantine measures and self-isolation keeps everyone at home. Here are just some of the images, taken between February 21 and March 9, 2020: Top photo: Friday prayers with very slim attendance at the Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, March 6 2020. Go to The Atlantic’s full gallery. Paris Mayor Calls for 15-Minute City: In her re-election campaign Mayor Anne Hidalgo proposes plans to ensure that every Paris resident can meet their essential needs within a short walk or bike ride, writes Feargus O’Sullivan forCity Lab. Mixing many uses within the same space challenges much of the planning status quo of the past century, O’Sullivan writes. It once …
Could city parklands be used to house endangered fauna? UNSW students have proposed to create research and veterinary labs for native bats, birds and eels. Restored patches of habitat in Sydney’s Centennial Parklands could become sanctuaries for threatened species, they say. The proposal come from a two-week Sydney Urban Lab studio in January, overseen by US-based landscape architect Professor Richard Weller and Hassell. “In the case of Sydney, we decided to get a list of the species endangered both in the city and its region and the broader hotspot, which is really the eastern portion of Australia, and ask the question: could we take a piece of land in Sydney and use that as an incubator for these species, and from there the species could be relocated over time back …
Greta Thunberg Named Time Person of the Year 2019: The 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global movement to fight climate change is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine, in a tradition that began in 1927. “Thunberg began a global movement by skipping school: starting in August 2018, she spent her days camped out in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign painted in black letters on a white background that read Skolstrejk för klimatet: ‘School Strike for Climate’,” Charlotte Alter, Suyin Haynes and Justin Worland write for Time. “In the 16 months since, she has addressed heads of state at the U.N., met with the Pope, sparred with the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike …