Winter has been a time to regroup, and fortunately, spring is now emerging. The late winter period has given us the perfect opportunity to reimagine forgotten spaces, transform how we use others and make sure that areas we don’t use over the down seasons are revitalised and reinvigorated ready for a fresh influx of people on the streets.
In this article, we’ll be sharing some thoughts on some easy steps to take, both in public and domestic spaces, that enable us to bring fresh thought and perspective, and allow us to use our outdoor environments to the best of their ability through sunnier times.
Add planters and flower beds
With more and more spaces in urban areas changing use, it gives us a good opportunity to look at disused areas, and consider how we can add colour, brightness and a touch of nature to them. Small planters, flower beds and areas to allow plants to grow wildly is the perfect thing to do here. It costs very little, causes minimal disruption and is something that can literally grow and evolve over time.
String up lights or use eco-friendly lanterns
Poor lighting is one common bug-bear of lesser-used areas in our urban spaces, but with a bit of thought, atmospheric lighting can quite literally brighten up a space and bring new life into otherwise dull areas. Festoon lighting is popular, suitable for all-weather uses and attaching to temporary structures such as canopies and is also very affordable and versatile.
Create more seating room
As the weather warms up, people will naturally want to sit outside. But instead of just making room for chairs and tables, it’s worth thinking creatively as to how you can use the built environment around you to provide seating spaces. Seating spaces can also be built in multi-use environments, incorporating bike storage, electric charging points or even popup gardens or parklets, for example.
Consider adding grass or natural environmental features to your outdoor space
Green space is scientifically proven to work wonders on our brains and bodies, stimulating better moods and increased physical and mental health. Building green spaces into our urban areas has been increasingly important, and the rise of green spaces being constructed in otherwise derelict or abandoned land is encouraging. Even planting a small amount of grass, or using living roofs, for example, allows animal and insect species to thrive and provide a better space around all of us.
Create space for entertainment
Temporary spaces for restaurants, bars and stages can easily be implemented as part of city dressing certain areas in time for spring and summer. Twinned with the right lighting and seating space, trailers serving food and drinks, pop-up stages, bars and other entertainment areas can add liveliness, a sense of busyness and a central focus to areas that have otherwise stood empty through the winter season.