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Case Studies 

Benches Collective



Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
August 13, 2015
December 22, 2017

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Boasted as the largest outdoor café in the world, BenchesCollective (or BankjesCollectief) takes over the benches across the world every first Sunday of the month and invites people to host cafés and activities. As part of the project, participants can visit the BenchesCollective website, pin their location, advertise their hours of operation, and include a description of the menu or activities to be hosted at their bench.

The idea behind the BenchesCollective initiative is to spark public interactions that might not otherwise take place. It provides space for strangers to sit down together and share in a conversation. It also encourages the hosts and guests of the benches to rethink the use of streets and urban furniture while giving them a degree of ownership over their own public spaces. These monthly events elevate the importance of streets and benches from pure utility to places of experimentation, community engagement, and Placemaking. 

Photo credits, from left: Cathelijn de Reede, Melanie van Zweeden via Facebook, Marika Kawaguchi via Facebook, Lilian Sijbesma, Tom Baas via Facebook, Coco Plooijer via Facebook 

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities


How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Follow Benches Collective

Website: bankjescollectief.nl/en

Facebook: facebook.com/benchescollective

Benches Collective
Benches Collective
Happy hour!
Benches Collective
Endless opportunities for fun
Benches Collective
Story time on the street
Benches Collective
A place to gather
Benches Collective
Benches Collective
A public knitting group meets on the benches
Benches Collective

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


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