A Tribute to the Park Bench

Why these often unnoticed street additions are everlastingly important

On my latest walk, I took a brief rest at a wood bench that faced a medium-sized lake. A gaggle of geese were swimming in the water, and a slight breeze blew over their closed wings. The faint chill that came with the gust signaled the oncoming autumn season, though the sun’s hot rays still beamed through the forest greenery that surrounded the area. A sense of calm swept over me as I took in the scene, which was quiet, peaceful, and easy.

The bench where I rested during my walk around my partner’s neighborhood (September 2020)
The iconic image of Forest Gump (Left; Image courtesy of Netflix). LONELINESS OF AUTUMN by Leonid Afremov (Middle; Image courtesy of Afremov.com). A screenshot of the Hollow Knight and Quirrel from the video game (Right; Image courtesy of Hollow Knight Wiki).
An example of “anti-homeless” bench design (Image courtesy of BBC.com)
  • Public benches allow you to met new people, and acts as a place to gather with friends. These seating areas are spots where a community can gather, which is “particularly important for people who find cafes too expensive or may be marginalised from other collective environments, such as work or education.”
  • They’re places of rest, which is good for physical health. Whether a person is highly active or has restricted mobility, public benches that are spaced out at regular intervals serve as reliant stopping points where people can rest at leisure after energetic activity.
  • These seating fixtures are a “go-to” spot for people in the neighborhood, increasing their feelings of safety and acceptance in the community. When public benches are used as meeting points by people, a sense of belonging to the area is effectively established, boosting mental, emotional, and social well-being in individuals.
A view of the lake and the bench where I sat at on a Friday afternoon (September 2020)

Julia writes big thoughts about the things she sees on her walks in both local neighborhoods & far-away places. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julesevec/