The Public Bench Project

Everybody Bikes Project Basics
Goal: To build community, provide a place for relaxation and rest, and increase safety.
Years active: 2012-present

What We’ve Learned

  1. Benches increase safety by encouraging people to remain in public space and keep their eyes on their surroundings.
  2. As long as a bench is in an exposed, well-traveled area, it will generally not attract antisocial behavior.
Project team: Chris Duderstadt, Adam Greenfield
Contact: (Chris Duderstadt)
ISPN involvement: None, although several ISPN board members are personally involved.
Get involved: Put a bench outside your building, paint a bench.

The Full Story

by Chris Duderstadt, creator

As creator of the Public Bench Project I have placed some twenty or so benches in public spaces throughout the Inner Sunset. All are “hosted” by private or non-profit property owners or guardians. The contour of these benches has evolved over 30 years to provide as comfortable a place to rest or relax as possible. Being generally six feet long, there is enough space for strangers to share, and with a little luck, they will be strangers no more. Many of the benches have been painted whimsically and/or by local artists, with the hope that they would be more inviting or to at least invoke a smile.

Anyone interested in hosting a bench should contact me. I dream of having a bench on each corner, tucked up against a building in a sunny spot, but any publicly accessible locations will be considered.