Street furniture: how do we meet people's needs?

16 déc 2022

Street furniture is changing in most of the region's communities. Furniture are becoming more sustainable and adaptable to a varied public, in line with major environmental and social issues. Within this common framework, more specific expectations can take shape. What are the street furniture needs in France and how can we meet them? 

Street furniture: what are the public's expectations ?

This was the question posed by the Union Nationale des Industries de l'Ameublement Français. In 2017, its President commissioned a study from polling firm Kantar Public. The survey titled “Les Français aimeraient-ils leur ville? “ reflects the opinion of the population through a sample of over 1,000 people living in towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants


Defining street furniture: comfort, aesthetics and lifestyle

How the French perceive street furniture is partly determined by how they define it. For 53%, urban planning is a service which is essential to improve comfort and to satisfy the day to day needs of city dwellers. Next come aspects relating to improved cohabitation, which was mentioned by 31% of respondents, followed by architecture and the aesthetic aspects of street furniture, mentioned by 10%.

Developments that improve public appreciation of the public space

Most French people surveyed had a positive opinion about their city centres. 77% of them like to go into town to take a stroll and relax, considering the public space to be ""a place of pleasure"". Which elements improve the user experience in city centres?

Cleanliness is the criterion which has the greatest impact for most city dwellers. For 66% of those surveyed, well-maintained streets which are free from litter contribute to a sense of well-being in a city. To keep their cities clean, users mainly rely on litter bins and public toilets.

The second criterion: the presence and quality of green spaces, at 58%. The pedestrianization of streets and lighting also play an important role in the appreciation of public spaces. Lastly, the French people surveyed emphasised the need for high-quality public transport services to enable them to fully enjoy their city.


Do local authorities know how to respond effectively to these expectations?

The answer is yes, for 71% of those questioned, even if this figure includes a large proportion of users who consider themselves to be ""fairly satisfied"". However, local authorities need to put more effort into the following :

  • the attractiveness of public spaces, with benches, chairs and tables etc.
  • pedestrian zones, with clear demarcation lines for areas free from vehicular traffic
  • the creation of flower beds and planted areas

These three themes were very popular with the users surveyed, who see these improvements as key factors in encouraging people to visit town centres.

What should tomorrow's street furniture look like?

From the point of view of city dwellers, expectations are very high when it comes to the distribution of street furniture across the city. 91% of respondents put this criterion at the top of their list. This was followed by the need for sturdier, more comfortable furniture.

Local authorities must also ensure that public spaces are easily accessible for persons with reduced mobility (PRM), in accordance with current legislation. This implies that operations are also required, such as levelling of uneven surfaces and the installation of rest areas and warning strips at crossings.

Contemporary street furniture by Francioli

Local authorities must be able to meet expectations based on solutions that comply with the regulatory requirements for public spaces. As a specialist in public amenities, Francioli designs a variety of toilets and street furniture to meet those needs.

Designer street furniture

To create durable, functional street furniture, Francioli uses concrete to manufacture all elements essential in fitting out public spaces :

  • tables
  • benches
  • public ashtrays
  • street litter bins
  • planters

Our range of designer furniture uses clean, contemporary lines, it is made from concrete and coated with polyurethane paint. This final coat can be in any RAL colour.

Accessibility and modularity of public toilets

Public toilets are key elements in maintaining cleanliness and convenience in a city. Users often want them to have effective formats. To meet these expectations, Francioli offers several solutions that are accessible, sustainable and environmentally friendly :

  • single-cubicle public toilets
  • multi-cubicle public toilets
  • integrable and scalable public toilets

Expectations, budgets and site-related constraints differ in each community. Modular toilets solutions provide a tailored solution to the needs of local authorities. Integrable sanitary fittings offer tailor-made, solid modules that comply with fire classification criteria.

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