The trend for more functional and accessible urban outdoor spaces continues to grow. Businesses are reaping the benefits in improved employee productivity, stress reduction, and a greater sense of customer and visitor satisfaction. Companies are finding that well designed outdoor spaces offer big dividends to urban businesses.
Until recently the grounds surrounding public and private sector buildings were secondary to the purpose of the business. A few well-groomed shrubs were thought to complete the look of a landscape design. That has changed dramatically in the last several years.
No longer an afterthought, outdoor urban spaces are planned into the architecture from the very beginning to bring value, flair and a sense of caring to employees, customers and visitors.
Why Outdoor Urban Spaces?
Urban landscaping builds in contrasting softness to the building structures while providing a unique, memorable, and creative place to relax. Whether you desire a simple, organic, and functional area, or a colorful and vibrant one, you’ll want a cohesive and balanced look that reflects your business and its mission.
Your urban landscaping installation sets the tone for your customers and employees. Consider your goals for the space. Will it be a multifunctional spot for employee breaks and impromptu meetings, a quiet area for contemplation and reflection, or do you want areas for both in the same landscape design?
Often business owners put good work before a good working environment. But many don’t realize that these elements go hand in hand. If you’re an employee working in a small cubicle, when not looking at a computer screen, your only other view is a colorless concrete office. Even when you walk outside for a break, all you see is a concrete jungle. From one bland thing to another – no creativity, no life, no color, no change.
This lack of a unique environment causes an absence of exceptional thought and even a drop-in productivity. Studies show the importance of a green working environment and the effects it has on the people working in it.
As a company competing with other similar businesses, you’ll not only want to boast a more productive environment, but also set yourself apart with creative employees. A lively green outdoor space is paramount to meet this goal and will end up benefiting your business’ ability to grow.
Considerations for Your Urban Landscape Design
When deciding on an outdoor urban landscape design for your business, you should always consider:
Sunlight. There’s a big difference between a rooftop garden and a courtyard between two high-rises. Make sure any plants you put into your landscape design can handle the amount of available sunlight.
Climate. Lush tropical greenery is beautiful, but it may not last through the Northeastern winters outdoors. You can move your plants inside for the winter or focus on plants that can survive the cold, such as those of the evergreen variety.
Water Needs. Hardier plants that are native to the area can be left to their own devices. Which is why they are the best plants to use in an urban landscape design. Other plants, such as annuals, may need to be watered every day. Choose plants that will fit into a maintenance schedule you will be able to manage easily.
Once you have your greenery figured out, you’ll need places to sit and enjoy. If you’re working with a limited area, try going vertical with your greenery. That way you’ll have more space for seating.
Building in Balance
Consider both hard and soft elements in your design. High, mid, and low-level plantings of trees, shrubs, greenery, and flowers should be balanced with areas of screening and lower maintenance elements like walkways, river rock beds, water features, decking, and seating areas.
Well placed sculptures can add an element of surprise and create a place for visitors and patrons to ‘check-in’ on social media with a picture.
Finding the right balance means more than just thinking about greenery. Research shows that looking at water and water features is good for people too. On top of adding multiple productivity benefits for your workers, adding a water feature to your business creates a good first impression for potential customers, business partners, and guests.
Even in urban environments, water and water features draw attention. Consider adding a fountain or bird bath to your urban outdoor space for added appeal and extra benefits for your business.
You’ll find the most success in creating an urban landscape design that improves your business surroundings while staying within your budget. Use the help of a professional to generate a landscape design that will invite people to your business, spark creativity in your employees, and make your business more productive every day.