PLUG, the innovation that makes street furniture removable!

PLUG, the innovation that makes street furniture removable!

11 June 2020
Do you know the PLUG solution? 
The patented mechanical system that makes public spaces modular!

Citizens, visitors, tourists, shoppers … For each type of profile, it is necessary to install furniture or equipment that meet specific and distinct functions, from reception to information, orientation, comfort or leisure. At each of these stages there are objects to be placed in specific locations in order to deliver an optimal user experience.

And what if the space could adapt, evolve according to seasons, events, demonstrations or the real needs of users? A bit like the interior of your home, which changes according to your desires! No more thinking that a public space remains fixed with its furniture, such as lighting, dustbin or bench, sealed in concrete for at least 15 years. We must change this model and disrupt this way of thinking. 

Public spaces are constantly evolving and changing to adapt to the needs of users and improve their experience. They aim to fulfil concrete objectives in terms of mobility, economic development, tourism, etc.

The PLUG solution, developed by the Ledin company, has made this its primary mission. The company based in Saint-Etienne has imagined a sustainable system to modulate our public spaces!

How does the PLUG solution work?

PLUG solution (©Metalink Urban PLUG)

The PLUG or “Plot de Liaison à Usage Général” is a revolutionary fixing block resistant to urban and meteorological aggressions. This mechanical anchoring system allows the installation and removal of furniture in just a few minutes! It is a solution that makes it possible to make the organization of living spaces modular and scalable according to specific uses. Depending on your needs, you can therefore choose to simply leave the space free, by closing the block with a plug, or to graft all kinds of urban equipment onto it. This is a system that Ledin also wants to extend to other types of furniture than those in its own range. It has already been experimented in various projects, allowing any furniture to be plugged in in ordre to take into account the existing furniture charters, specific to each public space.

PLUG equipment
Examples of pluggable urban equipment (©Metalink Urban PLUG)

From the installation to the change of equipment, everything is simple and efficient! Regarding its installation, all you have to do is drill the ground, place the fixing block and seal it with concrete. And voilà, the PLUG system is installed! Regarding the equipment change, the PLUG is supplied with a special key that guarantees its inviolability. This unique tool makes it possible to dislodge the furniture from its base, in order to simply slide another piece of equipment into it afterwards. Without this key, no one will be able to remove or steal the installed furniture.

Why using the PLUG?

On the one hand, it is difficult to define once and for all the functions to be installed and their locations without testing their effect on the user experience in real conditions. It is therefore essential to be able to move, remove or add functions in the space according to periods and events, while avoiding failing and unattractive temporary solutions.

On the other hand, the PLUG also allows a better management of:

1. Investment and costs: Furniture can be easily removed, moved, stored and above all reused. It is therefore no longer necessary to buy new equipment again and again when furnishing a space. Installation will also be done at a lower cost because once the PLUG is installed, all that is needed is to change the furniture without any additional expenses.

2. Rotation and revitalization: Depending on needs and events, you can quickly remove your installed equipment and replace it with other furniture more suited to the situation. You can also easily move your furniture from one district to another and thus vary your themes in order to revitalize the spaces.

3. Maintenance and servicing: Equipment can be quickly returned to the workshop and replaced by other furniture or by plugs, while it is being serviced, cleaned or repaired.

Where can I find spaces equipped with PLUG’s?

Some cities in France, such as Saint-Etienne and Millau, already trust PLUG to modulate their public spaces according to their needs and events. Several SNCF railway stations have installed PLUGs in their forecourts.

In Paris, other localities have carried out experiments, such as the communes of Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, where PLUG’s have been installed around the site of the future Grand Paris Express station, with the aim of significantly improving the living environment of local residents, visitors and users of the future metro lines! 

Our opinion on the PLUG:

At Inseetu, we expect to see more and more PLUG’s appearing in the coming years! There is currently no other solution that allows you to efficiently adapt your space to the needs of your customers and visitors. A sunny week? Let’s install benches so that people can enjoy the good weather. Market day? Let’s remove all the furniture to make room for the various market gardeners. We are entering the Christmas period? Let’s put trees in various strategic places! With PLUG, no more furniture is fixed, everything can be put down and removed in an instant!

Of course, at the outset, this is a significant investment choice for the space manager as the PLUG system costs more than a concrete base. But its return on investment is much better than traditional fixing solutions. First of all because of its technological robustness (breakage, corrosion, …) and then, for example, during major events, it is very simple to remove all the furniture in an instant to secure and free up the space. No damage and no mess, which means less inconvenience and financial loss for the manager. The PLUG therefore allows you to think and adapt your space cleverly.

The interest of such a solution lies in its richness of modularity and adaptability of a space due to its open system which allows to accommodate several types of furniture, from different suppliers. In this logic, it is therefore very easy to imagine any type of installation, on the cultural level with billboards for example or even artistic with works of art travelling from one city to another. These are ideas that are certainly already in the projects of the PLUG system.

Beyond the PLUG solution, it is a team that has excellent expertise in the manufacture of metal items and that pays a lot of attention to the quality of our public spaces. The company Ledin is constantly looking for new and innovative solutions that make sense in our spaces. A team always ready to take up challenges, open to the idea of developing innovations, as Inseetu was able to experience during the Grand Paris project in which we integrated sensors in the furniture supplied by PLUG in order to measure their real use. But we will tell you more about it in a future article!

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