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Greening the grey: Reopening the outdoors

The coronavirus pandemic has left a huge footprint on the world and its impact has undoubalty changed our lives forever. Architects, urban planners, designers and local authorities have been made to rethink the built environment and are adapting designs to make our public spaces safe post-lockdown. With a long-term need for social distancing measures including wider paths and walkways, more spaced seating and touch-free amenities, street furniture will play a vital part in the reopening of our high streets and city centres. We long to be together again united in outside spaces, a shopping trip with friends or a picnic in the park but how can street furniture be used as a permanent solution in our way out of the pandemic?


The beauty of retro-fitting is that optional components can be added at a later date to enhance and adapt existing site furniture. We realise that seating in the public realm or shopping centres will need to be adapted to adhere to social distancing guidelines and retro-fitting is a useful and cost-effective way for local councils and contractors to easily transform spaces. The addition of armrests can provide more space between sitting visitors or adding a planter filled with beautiful plants can also be an attractive and non-intrusive way to integrate this. It is also important to think about hygiene and ensuring that street furniture is easy to clean and the option to retro-fit provides easy maintenance.

Furnitubes’ RailRoad range is a great example of this - the range is based on a series of simple interchangeable modules that can be assembled in any way to form continuous seating runs, and can also be used independently for a coordinated suite of products across a scheme. This inherent flexibility means that optional extras like backrests, armrests and planters can easily be retro-fitted at a later date.

Modular solutions

Our newest ranges are modular street furniture solutions that you can combine in any way you like to create unique designs. Choosing a modular solution provides the ability to create unique street furniture designs that are fully adaptable and configurable. But how will this help in a post-covid world you ask? Well with the increasing need to create outdoor spaces that people feel safe and secure in, by choosing a modular solution the products are flexible to create covid safe social spaces (like single use seats and using planters as dividers between seating provision, the addition of arm rests can also act as a divider to separate people when sitting). A modular solution is constructed in easy to assemble parts resulting in needing fewer skilled workers for on-site assembly, allowing projects to complete that otherwise would not meet safety regulations to continue working.

Sanitiser dispensers

Public safety has been at the forefront of the pandemic since the start and the importance of hand washing has remained and is still as vital as ever. One way to maintain hygiene in public spaces is to ensure that there are adequate hand washing facilities that are easily accessible to the public for use. The right placement can aid effective usage in areas with high foot-fall such as, reception areas and entrances and exits of shops, hotels and buildings, which are key hot spots for the placement of sanitiser dispensers.

Our Zenith® foot-operated sanitiser dispenser is ideal for public spaces for use indoors or outdoor environments. It is touch free to help reduce the risk of contamination and available in a choice of finishes. The Zenith® Dispenser is part of a wider range of street furniture, including benches, picnic tables, cycle stands, litter bins and bollards.

Categories Seating and Benches, Company News, Industry News, Greening the grey

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Address: 3rd Floor, Meridian House, Royal Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8RD

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8378 3200

Email: sales@furnitubes.com

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