COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

Furnishing Your Public Spaces

Jan 1, 2009
Dec 14, 2017

Learn about the "whys and wherefores" of public-space amenities with this series of features. Each offers design and use guidelines to help lay people and professional designers work with each other. 

A Primer on Seating 

General information on the use of seating, its location, and maintenance (see related features below for details on moveable seating, benches, and sitwalls). 

Have a Seat: Movable Chairs or Benches?

Giving some thought to the design, placement, and location of this oft-used seating can greatly improve a public space.

Sitwalls, Ledges & Steps 

Built-in forms lend themselves to the most basic kind of seating, but there are a number of ways to get it wrong. This excerpt from William H. Whyte's City details them.


Urbanologist William H. Whyte's recipe for success: "If you want to seed a place with activity, put out food. Food attracts people who attract more people..."

Vending Carts 

The design of a vending cart is essential to the success of any vendor.

Bus Shelters 

Deciding which type of shelter to use requires an analysis of an area's existing and anticipated conditions, plus knowledge of ideal shelter location and design. 

Water Features 

Perhaps even more than its appearance, the feel and sound of water are crucial to the success of a water feature.

Waste Receptacles 

Their durability and functionality play a key role in the efficient management of a public space. 

Tents & Awnings

Tents can accomodate a range of activities, as well as protect people from wind, sun, and rain.

Lighting Use & Design

Well-designed lighting not only increases security and aids geographic orientation, but also highlights the identity of an area and creates a sense of drama.


Signs communicate a lot more than just directions. This guide features a seven-step process to developing or improving the signage in your public space.‍

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COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space