Jun 01

Creative Ways to Add Shade to Public Spaces

As the summer months get closer, it’s only a matter of time before temperatures begin to rise. While shade is an important component to any public space year-round, it is especially crucial May through August when the heat index and UV rays are at their maximum intensity. At CR Studio Design, we believe that function doesn’t have to outbalance design, so we’ve come up with a few creative tips for incorporating shade in public spaces.

Hanging cantilevers in parks

Neighborhood parks are frequented spots across the United States especially during the summer months. Picnics, play dates, sports tournaments and casual walks all happen here, so incorporating shade is a value-add to any city park. Hanging cantilevers are a visually striking shade structure that accents your park. Consider adding the hanging cantilevers near places where people are likely to relax — such as a park bench or picnic table. Hanging cantilevers are available in a variety of colors and some can even be branded for your organization. City seals, sports logos and school mascots are fun ways to make them your own. The cantilevers also come in different shapes and sizes, so they can be customized to fit your space. There are amenities that are as playful as they are practical.

Canopies in alleyways

Small and large cities alike often have pedestrian alleyways that intersect parts of town, usually around high-rise buildings, businesses or restaurants. While these alleyways are convenient to walkers, they are not always the most picturesque or pleasant, especially when surrounded by bland concrete and hot pavement. By hanging canopy shades across the top of alleyways, designers can instantly invigorate an otherwise dull space. Outdoor string lights can be crisscrossed under the canopies to add playful lighting at night. When pop-up rain showers happen, the canopies quickly serve as shelter for people passing by. If restaurant patios are accessible off the alleyway, then the canopies add a much-sought after amenity for restaurant owners – covered outdoor seating. While the multi-functional use of canopies is hard to deny, their eye-catching appearance truly transforms any pedestrian corridor into a one-of-a-kind space.

Native trees installations

The addition of shade doesn’t have to come through man-made structures. The installation of trees around a public space re-incorporates nature and provides shade to visitors. Trees can be added in sections around a playground, in single rows near a business center or individually across a local park. Many playground designers opt for native trees that can flourish in the existing climate of their area and require minimal upkeep. Additionally, trees are an eco-friendly way to diversity a cityscape that might otherwise be full of brick buildings and black asphalt roads. Trees can be used to create a natural border for playgrounds or water parks, or they can provide shade at nearby sidewalks, picnic tables or park benches in a city square. Regardless of how you incorporate them, trees are a natural way to provide shade to families, children and even four-legged friends who are enjoying the time outdoors.

When it comes time to design a new space or re-invigorate an existing one, don’t forget about the creative shade options that exist for any public space. No matter your budget or style, shade is a trusted amenity to keep people cool until they are ready for more fun in the sun.

Interested in learning more about the shade options for an upcoming project? Contact CR Studio Design to discuss creative ways we can incorporate shade into your city’s public spaces.