Trend Watch February 2022

Paris has plans to make the Seine swimmable by 2024:

by Feargus O’Sullivan

The City of Paris is undertaking a new project, ‘Projet Life Adsorb,’ which may soon make Paris’s river Seine clean enough to swim in. Various attempts have been made to make the Seine swimmable, the first in 1988. Most recently, in 2017, swimming pools opened along Canal Saint Martin, a more sheltered waterway in the city’s east. Unfortunately high bacteria levels regularly force swimmers out of the pools.

The new plan, which is being designed and implemented by a team of experts overseen by the City of Paris, “might be able to curb pollution more permanently, making it swimmable –  and usable as a competition venue – in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics,” writes Bloomberg’s Feargus O’Sullivan.

“The city’s 19th century sewer system mixes sewage with rainwater, and during heavy downpours can be overwhelmed by the volume of liquid it needs to channel.” Such occasions, they write, result in “over 2 million cubic metres of sewage contaminated water” finding its way into the river.

The new project features a stormwater tank to store around 46,000 cubic metres of water, enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool 30 times over, and alleviate the drain overflow that causes sewage to spill into the river. The tank will be installed near Gare d’Austerlitz, beneath a public garden on the city’s left bank, and connect to underground sewers. The topsoil above will be spacious enough for trees to grow in.

Even this ambitious tank will not be infallible— “the city estimates that 100,000 cubic metres of waste water will enter the river annually,” so there is still the potential for the tank to prove inadequate. Despite this, the project continues to build on past improvements – and no effort to decrease pollution has been fruitless. Pollution levels in the Seine are now far lower than in the nineties, and “the number of fish species has increased markedly,” reports O’Sullivan.

Read the full story at Bloomberg.

Image: Bloomberg

Recess is a time of conflict for children. Here are 6 school design tips to keep the peace:

By Fatemeh Aminpour

“Students experience an average of one conflict at recess every three minutes,” writes Fatemeh Aminpour on The Conversation.

Aminpour conducted research at three public primary schools in Sydney, Australia — her findings reveal how design can be used to reduce conflict and encourage inclusive play. “My study explored children’s views on the activities that usually triggered conflict and the ways in which school grounds could be designed to avoid it,” says Aminpour.

Since schools tend to have a “No Running Fast On Concrete” rule, Aminpour suggests offering more grassed areas to diffuse conflicts that often arise from multiple groups of children playing separate activities in the same space.

She says that zoning spaces according to activity type, incorporating physical barriers and allowing buffer space between play areas will reduce conflict between groups.

These interventions would prevent, for example, a situation where “children running around fast or playing with balls are seen as ‘disruptive’ to those sitting or playing with cards, and vice versa … the space is no longer felt as a ‘very relaxing place,’ children who seek ‘peace’ and ‘quiet’ have to withdraw.”

Aminpour points out that offering more natural settings also reduces conflict. She says, “Children of diverse personal characteristics — including gender, age and ability — use natural settings without conflict … they hide behind tree trunks … practice balancing on their massive roots, and use their malleable resources in their creative play.”

Aminpour’s research reveals that ensuring that play areas are plentiful, organised and engaging minimises conflict. In turn, the school yard can be inclusive and supportive of all children, and help positive social interactions and relationships to develop.

Read the story in the The Conversation.

make an enquiry

Opening hours are from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

enquire now

recent news

Join Us For Tea Time (via Zoom or Teams)

Take a quick (and educational) tea break with us! Customers are invited to book in a 10-minute Zoom or Microsoft Teams chat to learn about new products. Presentations are guaranteed no longer than 10-minutes plus Q&A. Choose from: ChillOUT Tree (recommended) Latest Linea additions. Wood Without Worry. Or request a custom presentation. Each participant will receive a T2 gift box (optional). Book by contacting us on, or via the button below. Win one of three BLUNT umbrellas Tea Time bookings for Australian customers during August and September will go into a draw for a chance to win one of three BLUNT umbrellas, valued at up to $159. Winners will be notified on 1st October 2022. Image: BLUNT.

  • 25 sep 2020
read more

Linea range in San Francisco

Street Furniture Australia products will be on show at the ASLA 2022 EXPO in San Francisco, from November 12 to 13, 2022. Visit Booth 251 to see the sleek and minimalist Linea range, including Cubes, Platform, Sun Lounge, Seats, Curved Bench and Picnic Settings, and complementary Monsoon Litter Bins and Cafe Stools. Check out a variety of durable and low-maintenance materials and colours including five Wood Without Worry aluminium woodgrain batten shades, the new Earthy Pastel powdercoat range, and DuraBright fade-resistant colours. Street Furniture Australia will co-present the stand with California-based partner Spruce & Gander, who represent our products as an exclusive distributor in California, Ohio, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky. Dates and times:Saturday, November 12, 2022. 9:30am – 6:00pm.Sunday, November 13, 2022. 10:00am – …

  • 28 oct 2022
read more

Murri School receives Linea donation

Street Furniture Australia is donating $40,000 worth of furniture from breakout spaces from the 2022 Festival of Landscape Architecture: COUNTRY to The Murri School, an Aboriginal and Islander Independent Community School in Brisbane. The collection of Linea Seats, Cubes, Curved Benches, Sun Lounges and Picnic Settings includes a pair painted by artist Casey Coolwell-Fisher, a Quandamooka, Nunukul woman of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) – commissioned by Street Furniture Australia and Blaklash Creative. Director of Blaklash Creative and member of the Festival Creative Directorate Troy Casey says, “A huge part of the festival was about how we can ensure that community gets something from it. We spent two days sharing our culture, our experiences, and the responsibility to positive impact. We can’t really do that without giving back to mob, …

  • 31 oct 2022
read more

related news

Trend Watch January 2022

Design For Forest: by Zaš Brezar In Europe, landscape architects are using simple interventions to manipulate the use of forests while prioritising their essential environmental function, writes Zaš Brezar for Landezine. Landscape architects, Zaš writes, can “bring forests closer to people in a meaningful and careful way. Empowering bonds between landscapes and people is one of the most important tasks of our profession. We maintain what we appreciate.” Strengthening the existing, and designing by maintenance rather than from scratch, is central to designing forests with conservation and care in mind, they say. In Strandskogen Arninge Ullna, a park in Sweden, landscape architects maintained “existing ambiences” by choreographing visitors’ movement through the dense riparian forest on elevated walkways. “This way, they have minimised the impact of people staying in the woods …

  • 17 jan 2022
read more

Trend Watch December 2021

How our cities work – essential lessons from lockdown: By Matt Wade New research on the demographics of essential workers in Australia’s largest cities casts a stark light on geographic and gender inequalities, writes Matt Wade for the Sydney Morning Herald. Essential workers are employed “across health and social services, education, freight and delivery, transport, police and emergency services, logistics, construction and some retail,” and make up 45% of the workforce in Australian capital cities. They are exposed to greater risk of contracting Covid-19 in their workplaces, and through travelling to work. According to a study by consultancy SGS Economics and Planning, most essential workers in Sydney and Melbourne live in outer metropolitan growth areas where housing is more affordable – these regions also recorded a high share of infections …

  • 9 dec 2021
read more

Trend Watch November 2021

Cities’ answer to sprawl? Go wild: ‘Rewilding,’ “…the growing global trend of introducing nature back into cities” has the capacity to “help bolster climate resilience, biodiversity, even moods,” writes Chris Malloy in Cities’ Answer to Sprawl? Go Wild. “Globally, past urban planning decisions like the prioritisation of the car have given rise to cities that, but for scattered parks, tend to be divorced from nature.” However, “growing urban sprawl heightens the need to build zones to manage runoff and temperatures and preserve biodiversity.” In the face of the many consequences of rapid urbanisation and climate change including “loss of biodiversity, urban heat islands, climate vulnerability, and human psychological changes,” rewilding could impact the health of our cities. As amorphous spaces, Malloy says that “most definitions agree that rewilded spaces should …

  • 11 nov 2021
read more