Outdoor company JCDecaux has developed a range of innovative street furniture using an upcycling approach that repurposes used materials including glass, steel and wood.

Polychrone_2.pngPolychrone bus shelter by JCDecaux

“Our ‘concept shelters’ are already sparking conversations with interested parties, including town halls and local authorities as this initiative meets different challenges, notably concerning responsible development,” says Sylvain Grandpierre, director of Graphic, Digital and Product Design at JCDecaux. “Upcycling already exists in certain sectors, it is up to us to adopt it on a more industrial scale, by designing a new range of products that will use existing resources to promote a more sustainable future.”

Upcycling involves using materials which have already had a first life and giving them a new use by maintaining their shape and transforming them as little as possible.

“JCDecaux has designed a new generation of bus shelters, ‘concept shelters’, using repurposed used materials (glass, steel, wood, etc.) from its own or other sectors, with a minimum of transformation,” says a press release.

Polychrone bus shelter [pictured above]

“The first concept, called Polychrone, stands out with its simple, modular design and innovative assembly details. It integrates second-life mechanical components used in scaffolding and recycled wood used in carpentry to create the structure of the bus shelter and the bench. A stock of unused maintenance glass was used for the back and side walls of the shelter while used cables from self-service bikes were repurposed to create a braided trellis for climbing plants.”

Tiny House bus shelter


The second model, Tiny House (pictured above), uses more wood and IPN-type beams recycled from makers of metallic structures (beams used in architecture), as well as glass components from maintenance stocks ordered by architecture worksites.


“By avoiding the extraction of new raw materials and minimising the consumption of energy linked to the manufacturing process, JCDecaux contributes efficiently to reducing its carbon footprint (an upcycled bus shelter generates -65% CO2 compared with a new bus shelter in the extraction/manufacturing phase).

“This approach also enables public buyers, such as municipalities, to meet the requirements of the AGEC law (anti-wastage for the circular economy), which requires them to favour the acquisition of repurposed assets, upcycled or using recycled materials, in proportions set at between 210% and 100% depending on the product type.

“The practice of upcycling paves the way for the possibility of new virtuous partnerships with other sectors, with waste that could be reused in the manufacturing of upcycled street furniture by JCDecaux. Similarly, it supports the formation or the consolidation of French sectors for the supply of parts and components to be reused.”

The ‘concept shelters’ were presented at the French Mayor and Local Authorities Fair in November 2022. JCDecaux teams are currently working on a production version, the prototype of which will be unveiled shortly.

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