What a focal point is varies greatly with each square. Sometimes it is as simple as a good spot to sit, a fountain, or a statue on which kids can play and climb. The ones we are interested in are the ones that are swarming with people.
Highlighting a Community’s Identity by Creating Great Amenities: A bench at a corner; shade from a canopy or tree; a drinking fountain; a simple bollard...all are like life support to everyone in a community...And, the best communities place them where people need them. Comfort is the knowledge that a community cares.
A simple tool that can make any city more walkable and pleasurable
You can tell a great city by its corners. If the intersection is owned by the vehicles, it is a city for cars and traffic. If the community controls the intersections/corners, it is a city of neighborhoods.
Benches and seating are not objects; they are mirrors to our social behavior. We have seen it time and again, that where there is seating, there is life.
People thrive in place that reflect their personality and where they can be seen in ways that others understand something about who they are. Different people need different settings. Diversity of seating is a basic need and varies for each place.
Shade can become an intentional strategy — developed with communities, led by communities. If we do it right, the addition of shade in all its forms can have an enormous collective impact on walkability, Social Life, and climate resilience.