4 Features Every Outdoor Public Space Needs

A variety of public spaces are available for people to use for social gatherings and relaxing outside. Consider these four features that every outdoor public space needs, whether you’re representing a business or advocating to increase the number of public spaces available for people to enjoy.


Every comfortable space has seating, and you want anyone who visits this outdoor public space to feel comfortable. Most seating in an outdoor setting will encourage communication and socializing. Benches are a typical type of seating used in many open spaces that allow people to sit together and converse.

Implement benches to save money by preventing the need for more individual seats. Picnic and community tables of various sizes are another form of seating that will make the space more accepting to groups who need a place to sit. Use tables with attached seating for less assemblage; these tables typically have larger seats for multiple people to sit together.

Shaded Areas

The sunniest days incentivize people to go outside and feel the sunshine, and public spaces such as parks or gardens are great places to visit for the sun’s rays. However, it’s important to provide the option of shade for people who need limited time in the sun.

This feature is necessary for sun protection that won’t ruin the enjoyment of the warm weather. Many buildings expand their exterior footprint with mid-door spaces, including a metal mesh overhang or atrium that will provide enough shade and ventilation for people outside. People appreciate the option for shade and sunlight, and ensuring there are places for each will impress those who visit the outdoor public space and make it a recommended space to visit in the future.

Accessible Trails

Accessibility is essential for any space, and people will need options for moving around in public spaces outside. Ensure there are trails wide enough for more than one person to walk along. The wider paths will give people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters more space to maneuver.

Install ramps anywhere there is a slight rise from the ground’s level, even if it’s only a small step higher. Playgrounds need safe ground that’s stable, leveled, and easy to traverse, regardless of mobility level. Include accessible playground equipment on the ground level, such as bells that kids may ring and wheelchair-accessible carousels.


You expect to see some greenery when you’re outside. Trees, bushes, flowers, and plants are important features every outdoor public space needs, making the area feel lively with biophilia.

Include small patches of flowers to add splashes of color, or place trees along a path to provide shade and greenery. A barren space with little life isn’t attractive and is akin to a parking lot, but with a touch of flora, the outdoor setting will immerse people in nature.

Public outdoor spaces with plenty of accessibility, greenery, seating, and shade make the people who visit feel liberated and at ease. Include these features in your outdoor public space and help visitors feel great as they enjoy the fresh air.

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Written by Logan Voss

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