Park Elements Print

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Park Environment

Park Element Types

  • Seating Print

    Where to put seating:
    • locate seating in convenient and visible locations next to areas of activity, such as playgrounds and beside paths, to allow access for all users. Consider incorporating seating into playgrounds and other elements
    • locate seating in a variety of locations that offer sun and shade
    • locate seating in areas where users are offered maximum comfort, bearing in mind wind and seasonal variations
    • locate seating with the back to a wall, fence or vegetation backdrop where possible. Seating should provide views of other park users and features
    • to suit the habits and needs of the existing and intended park users in order to place seating in a relevant and meaningful way. Consider the social setting and traditions
    • do not place seating too close to bins, to avoid unpleasant rubbish odours affecting users.
    • provide seating in close proximity to barbeques and tables
    • co-locate (cluster) furniture to avoid clutter


    Ensure good access and usability by:
    • locating seating on a concrete pad to mitigate wearing of the surface beneath The concrete pad to extend beyond seat to allow wheelchairs and prams to park alongside the seat
    • selecting seating for comfort while also considering aesthetic appeal
    • providing seating that accommodates a wide range of abilities, ages and physical needs where practicable
    • selecting seating for robustness and durability, and therefore long term sustainability
    • ensuring water drains away from seating and that seats are free from ponded surface water
    • locating seating so it is connected to the circulation path where possible
    • providing arm rests to assist users getting in and out of seats
    • designing seating which could be used to support active exercise, e.g. park benches with enough paved area around them for people to step up onto


    Ensure safety and visibility by:
    • locating seating to achieve optimum visibility so that people can see and be seen through clear sightlines
    • positioning seating to minimise hazard and error, e.g. out of the line of travel to assist the blind and partially sighted


    Ensure good aesthetics and the right materials by:
    • ensuring the seating is in proportion to its surroundings and reflects the surrounding environment, rather than using materials or colours which contrast and stand out
    • designing bespoke seating to complement the setting and function of the park as a whole. Carefully consider the materials, colours and forms
    • incorporating graffiti protection, skate deterrents and standardised components into seating to reduce maintenance costs
    • using natural materials with low-toxicity and sourced from companies with ethical manufacturing processes where possible. Try to source seating or materials from local suppliers to avoid excessive transportation
    • ensure the materials used are durable and appropriate for the location of the seat,  e.g. marine grade stainless steel components in coastal environments
    • using enclosed and reinforced fittings to mitigate theft where necessary
    • avoiding skate deterrents. If skating is acceptable, seats should be designed to allow edges to be skated on. If skating is not acceptable, the layout or design of the seats should discourage or hinder skaters
    • considering the resourceful manufacture of the seating elements, including ease of supply and life expectancy
    • designing seats so parts can be easily replaced, to avoid the need to dispose of the whole element
    • exploring the use of recycled materials or the reuse of an existing elements to form these  structures
    • ensuring any proposed timber comes from a sustainably managed forest and is approved by one of the following:
      • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - an international, non- governmental, organisation supporting a scheme for forest products, which provides a credible guarantee that the product comes from a well-managed forest
      •  New Zealand forestry industry, through its National Standard for Environmental Certification of well-managed Plantation Forests in New Zealand
      • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) - an independent, non-governmental organisation, which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. These certifications can be requested from timber suppliers
    • exploring alternatives to treated timber or hardwoods, such as recycled plastic or composite decking timber
    • applying graffiti guard protection.
    • assessing alternative sites, colours and materials that may be more appropriate
    • considering what will happened to park seating once it has passed its park life. Aim to select materials that can be disposed sustainably


    Ensure ease of maintenance by:
    • ensuring all seating components, materials and finishes can be serviced and maintained by New Zealand based contractors
    • identifying and understanding the maintenance regimes which could lengthen the life of the material chosen, e.g. staining, and incorporating these details into the maintenance plan for the park upon completion
    • ensuring the selected seating has a minimum serviceable life of 10 years