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 Good Practice Database

This database contains good practice examples on how the accessibility of public space and public transport can be improved, covering all categories of the ISEMOA Quality Management System.

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ISEMOA Good Practice Fact Sheet

Title in original language Zeitbankerl - private Sitzbänke zur öffentlichen Nutzung
Title in English Private benches for public use
Location Lengau, Austria
Year 2010
Initiator Citizens
Developed by
(one pick only)
  • Organization
  • Other: Citizens
Implementation Area
  • Municipality
  • Rural
Supported accessibility level
  • Micro accessibility
Elements of the working process - Implementation
  • Accessibility measures and accessibility planning
Type of PRM Affected
  • Motor impaired
Application Field / Target area - Public Space - Pedestrian / wheelchair
  • Availability
  • Quality
Why is it a good practice example? A citizens' initiative supported by the municipality found a really good solution for solving the problem of lack of seating-possibilities in public space: people in the municipality are asked to provide benches on their plot of land so that these benches can be used by everybody passing by and needing a rest. These benches are marked with a special sticker and in the municipal newspaper the citizens of the municipality are regularly informed of the locations of these benches. Special events are also organised to promote these benches.
Background and Objectives / Aims For a lot of people (e.g. older people, people with walking disabilities) public seating possibilities on their way are a precondition to be able to reach their day-to-day points of interest on foot or to be able to just go for a walk. However, often such public seating possibilities are not available. Especially in rural areas or in housing areas of cities it is often difficult to place such seating possibilities alongside the streets since all the land aside the streets is privately owned. Another problem with public seating is that benches are often damaged or dirty and not maintained properly.
Implementation (incl. obstacles, public participation) The citizens' association 'Zeitbank Gemeinde Lengau für Alt und Jung' in the municipality of Lengau in the Austrian province of Upper Austria, solved this problem by implementing an innovative, effective and cost-efficient idea: The inhabitants of the municipality are asked to provide a bench for public use on their plot of land. To indicate that these benches may be used by everyone, who needs a rest, they are marked with a special sticker. The people providing these benches are also taking care that these benches are always clean and in good condition. Some of the benches are donated by local companies, banks, or shops.

The association 'Zeitbank Gemeinde Lengau für Alt und Jung' coordinates the project: people, who need a seat on their route, inform the association about the location where such a bench would be useful, and the association tries to find people in this area who are willing to provide a space on their plot of land and maintain such a bench.The association also tries to find sponsors for these public benches.

Furthermore, the association organises events (e.g. dedicated walking-tours) to promote the idea of the public benches. The municipality supports the initiative and regularly publishes news regarding the public benches in the municipal newspaper. About one year after the start of the initiative already more than 50 of these public benches have been made available in the municipality.
Conclusions (incl. output, analysis of benefits) The citizens, especially the older people and people walking with small children, are very happy about these opportunities to take a rest on their journeys. The public benches are very much appreciated not only because they offer a seat, but they also offer the possibility to go out, and socialise with others. This is especially important for older people being at home alone and living in (danger of) isolation.
Source / Link http://www.zeitbank-altjung.at/weitere_leistungen/zeitbankerl.php
Information - documents information in German about "Zeitbankerl" (2.717 KB)
Pictures
Zeitbankerl.jpg (90 KB)