Roles of Street Furniture in a Constructed Environment

By Kin Wai Michael Siu and Pak Hong Wan.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Street furniture refers to the objects and facilities located in urban public spaces that provide various services and functions to the public. It is one of the essential elements of the urban environment. However, today, many policymakers, designers and the public neglect its importance. Although comparatively small in scale when compared to apartment blocks, office towers and other urban buildings, street furniture, together with other urban landscape elements such as architecture and urban space, plays a significant role in contributing to the lives of people and their activities. Of all the urban landscape elements, street furniture has the closest contact and most dynamic interaction with people and the environment. Street furniture interacts with all city users, offering physical usage and helping them communicate with each other. At the same time, it interacts with the environment by providing focus points, establishing linkages between different landscape elements, and also by coordinating with a place’s identity. The interaction function of street furniture greatly contributes to a convenient urban life, and hence determines the quality of an urban environment. This paper discusses the roles of street furniture and the different kinds of interaction among specific elements thereof. Through a variety of case studies, this paper examines and analyses how street furniture interacts with and affects urban life in different ways. It advocates for the importance of street furniture in constructed environments, and encourages planners in government as well as users to emphasise street furniture design.

Keywords: Street Furniture, Interaction, Constructed Environment, Urban Environment, Urban Life

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.183-204. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.549MB).

Prof. Kin Wai Michael Siu

Professor & Public Design Lab Leader, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Kin Wai Michael Siu is Professor and Lab Leader of the Public Design Lab, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research interests are in public design and user-reception.

Pak Hong Wan

Research Associate and Designer, Public Design Lab, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Pak Hong Wan is Research Associate and Designer of the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He research interests are in street furniture design and product design.