Here are some examples of public seating around the world

A few days ago I wrote about the need for more and better public seating in Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Park. While I’m at it, I thought it might be worth showing some additional examples.

The pictures below aren’t all equally successful, but they each offer a chance to study how park designers are trying to accommodate the need for seating. In Pioneer Park, that is a need that’s almost entirely unmet.

Park bench in Seville, Spain.

Park benches in Seville, Spain.

Park bench in Barcelona

Park benches in Barcelona

Street bench in Barcelona

Street bench in Barcelona

Street bench in Granada, Spain

Street bench in Granada, Spain

Benches in Boston

Benches in Boston

Benches lining a plaza in Boston's North End.

Benches lining a plaza in Boston’s North End

A planter doubles as a bench in this Manhattan plaza

A planter doubles as a bench in this Manhattan plaza

A rather unsuccessful arrangement of benches in front of Provo's Utah Valley Convention Center

A rather unsuccessful arrangement of benches in front of Provo’s Utah Valley Convention Center

Benches and chairs outside Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo

Benches and chairs outside Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo

A street bench in Provo

A street bench in Provo

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3 comments

  1. Alan Peters

    It’s interesting to me that unintentional seating is sometimes the most used. The benches in these pictures are mostly empty, but the planter is full. I think my favorite public seating anywhere are the planters in front of the JFSB at BYU. Provo City actually tried to mimic this with the new concrete planter on the corner in front of the Convention Center, it was designed to double as a bench, but I don’t think it’s ever really caught on.

  2. India Johnson

    Benches in Barcelona — the best examples that come to mind are the most iconic ones: the modernist benches lining Passeig de Gràcia that combine seating with a streetlamp, and the older ones along the Rambla, which are wood/iron and about a century old but are incredibly ergonomic. One of the best things about them is that, although they seem to be very close to the ground, they’re actually the ideal distance off the ground for someone under 6′ tall (most of Spain). We shouldn’t be afraid to add decorative elements to street seating; they can make a bench seem much more human and inviting.

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