Citizen Bench

Citizens are encouraged to describe and share their needs from public seating through a user-friendly tool and structured process that empowers citi

Project Description

  • Citizen Engagement
  • 01 January 2021
  • 12 months
  • EPFL
  • € 182,037

The public bench represents a practical and emotional link between the city and its citizens. It is a key element for the success of active mobility, public modes of transport and the well-being of citizens. With a user-centric approach, the Citizen Bench project helps cities to understand better the different needs of citizens, their restrictions and their expectations in terms of seating in the public realm. Feedback from the general public allows cities to verify and adapt the seating it offers in order to encourage active mobility and to increase the quality of urban spaces.  

Citizens are encouraged to describe and share their needs from public seating through a user-friendly tool and structured process that empowers citizens. The project strengthens environmental awareness, connects stakeholders and promotes exchange; it allows involvement in the ideation process and promotes emotional ownership and advocacy. The city, in turn, gets feedback on citizen’s needs, obstacles and preferences concerning the form, material, location, orientation and use of benches.   

Citizen Bench has tested the tool and methodology in Munich and the results will be part of a toolbox, including training programmes, that will support other cities to transform their public seating decisions.  The online-web-app can easily be tailored to different cities and regions.  


Vital to the usability and quality of urban spaces, public seating is often decided by planners with little participation or feedback from users.

Main Objective

To empower citizens, as end-users of public seating, to get involved in the ideation of quality, functional solutions that encourage active mobility.


User-centric methodology combined with an online web app ( to encourage citizens to communicate their urban seating opinions and needs.



Project lead

Albrecher Renate
EPFL Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne