Trend Watch July 2020

Cafes spill out onto a Parisian city street. Photo: Bloomberg.

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 come to the fore. These questions have been exacerbated in a summer of unrest when, in the most extreme of examples, racial justice protesters demonstrate against police brutality in city streets where other people sit eating brunch.”

Connotations of alcohol licensing and the privatisation of public space, social distancing rules and noise are examined in the article with international case studies.

‘Park N Play’ by JAJA Architects in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Mixed-use car parks have more fun

Car parks desperately need a mixed-use makeover, writes Riley Flanigan, Senior Urban Designer at HASSELL.

“More and more, buildings and infrastructure are working harder to accommodate a broader range of functions, with flexibility embedded into their design to diversify revenue streams, activate the public realm and give back to the community.They show how with a bit of imagination and ambition, mixed use building typologies can disrupt the market and contribute a genuine community dividend,” he says.

Car-dominated cities like those in Australia can look to examples of parking spaces in Miami in the US, Copenhagen in Denmark and Piteå in Sweden, he writes, which also host weddings, yoga classes, corporate functions, fashion shows, and incorporate sledding slopes and playgrounds for the community.

The Brisbane-based designers have considered how mixed-use parking might be applied in their “lush, sweaty, subtropical” home town – with a series of concept graphics and descriptions available in the article.

Subtropical, Community-Integrated Car Park Concept by Riley Flanigan with Illustrations by Kirsten Harrison at HASSELL Studio Brisbane.

make an enquiry

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

enquire now

recent news

7 Ways to Activate Streets

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 …

  • 26 may 2020
read more

Wood Without Worry

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 …

  • 1 jul 2020
read more

Trend Watch August 2020

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 …

  • 27 aug 2020
read more

related news

Trend Watch June 2020

“The Children Got Better Grades Learning Outside” Matluba Khan, Lecturer in Urban Design at Cardiff University, redesigned a school in Bangladesh to include outdoor learning elements requested by the students and teachers – and studied the results. Her research showed that the children’s maths and science improved with teaching and learning outdoors. “The Grade IV children performed significantly better in maths and science compared to a comparable school which had had no change in the environment,” she writes. “Hands-on learning outdoors made learning fun and engaging for everyone, but particularly benefited underachievers. We found that children who didn’t interact much in the classroom setting were more pro-active and participated more in their outdoor sessions.” Read about the project in The Conversation. Hundreds of Bus Stops Turned Into Bee Sanctuaries: The …

  • 26 jun 2020
read more

Trend Watch May 2020

Podcast by Two Urban Designers – From Shopping Malls to Coronavirus: Adelaide (un)Planned is a slick and engaging podcast exploring design and planning in Adelaide, South Australia – the good, bad and (sometimes) ugly. What is it that makes this city one of the most liveable in the world? Presented by Michael McKeown, Director and Urban Designer at Jensen PLUS, and Daniel Bennett, Urban Design Strategy Lead with Architectus, the podcast has recently celebrated its tenth episode. Each instalment features conversations with some of Adelaide’s leading thinkers, planners and design professionals, selected for their opinions, insights, stories and good humour. Expect discussion about well-known and changing places, streets and developments, and topical chats about landscape, transport, the environment and civic leadership. We recommend starting with episode seven, Coronavirus and the …

  • 25 may 2020
read more

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. …

  • 8 apr 2020
read more