Today I’m sharing some photos that I took last spring of park benches along Hamilton Street near Central Park in downtown Regina. I figured that those in Regina might appreciate a little bit of sunny escapism while they try to stay warm.
While walking one of my common routes home from work this spring, I spotted two benches/sitting areas on 2100 block Hamilton Street and was surprised that I hadn’t noticed them before – it always amazes me how easily you can miss things when you fall into certain habits.
In general benches/sitting areas are a really nice way to encourage people to use the streetscape as a casual meeting place in addition to a mode of transportation. They are small community builders that encourage people to linger and animate the sidewalk, not just get from A to B. In this case, it is particularly nice that the benches are set back from the sidewalk with paving stones to delineate the different uses and greenery to soften the paved landscape.
After I became more aware of these benches, I saw lots of people making good use of them throughout the day and evening – chatting with friends, reading, eating lunch. And later in the summer, when the trees filled out, these spaces were even better as they offered a place to cool down.
I’d love to see the shrubs and vegetation grow to the height of the fence in the background, almost making these little park spaces feel like small sitting rooms.
Do you have favourite nooks and crannies like this around the city? What are some other small community builders that you’ve noticed? Let us know!