Park Seating to Suit a Diverse Audience
Local parks and other outdoor sites are a respite and an outlet for millions of Americans, as they seek spaces to socialize, exercise and just plain relax. With more folks flocking to your parks, you might be thinking more about how to best accommodate their diverse needs. After all, people come to the park for a wide variety of reasons. One way to meet those needs is by carefully considering seating placement.
A Place to Pause
First of all, you'll want to be sure you're providing seating along pathways and trails. This is especially important for seniors and those with mobility issues. For this age group, place seating every 100 to 125 meters, and look for benches that are at least 17 inches in seat height, with armrests and less recline. The area beneath the bench should be flat and free from obstructions.
Seating that allows park visitors to pause and appreciate a beautiful view will also be welcome. Whether it's a stunning overlook or a beautifully planted landscape, there are many places in your park that might invite people to pause. Benches should punctuate walkways near steep gradients, allowing visitors to rest at the top of the hill or before they make the climb.
A Place to Gather
The pandemic might have driven many people to do their socializing outdoors, but that's a trend you should encourage by placing seating in ways that encourage socializing. Benches and picnic tables provide a place where families, friends and neighbors can meet.
Moveable chairs and tables are also a good choice for places where people gather, allowing them to configure the space to meet their needs.
A Place to Watch
Think about other places in your park where seating might be welcome, especially for spectators. Parents and caregivers will appreciate benches placed near playgrounds so they can keep an eye on the kids. Skateparks, dog parks and pickleball courts are all good choices for seating as well, since the activities taking place tend to draw spectators. Benches placed near outdoor fitness areas will also be welcome to exercisers looking for a place to lace up or drink a bit of water mid-workout.
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