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Copy of Public Toilets, Public Space

A bodily perspective on the accessible city

Trung Râu

on 18 December 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Public Toilets, Public Space

Public space
meeting place
possibility to enter
possibility to remain
Public Toilet
physically accessible
Toilets, sex and private space
Number of sexes does not reflect reality
Sex specific backstage behavior
The different groups are not treated equally
Away from 'public space'
Public Toilets in The Hague and Richmond
Part of London
In England public toilets are historically seen as the responsibility of the Local Authorities
Due to budget cuts many public toilets have been closed, starting roughly in the eighties
The lack of public toilets is seen as a problem (public health, commerce and accessibility) and Councils work on finding solutions
In Richmond they implemented a 'Community Toilet Scheme'
In the Netherlands
Public toilets have not received much attention
Mostly urinals have been installed
Usually municipalities only take 'public toilet action' when there are complaints from the people.
Recently The Hague installed four public toilets.
(31 million visitors yearly)
Our bodies are leaky
Leaking ought to be hidden or done in private
Toilets are the place where it is proper to 'leak'
water closet
For 'a' or 'the' public
has to be visible
sinks in stalls
coat hanger
diaper change
Three types of public toilets
Private toilets
semi-public toilets
public toilets
Leaking as a luxery in The Hague
Toilets are presented as a service one buys
one needs money to leak legally
only one 'public' public toilet (paid)
Private toilets that seem semi-public ones
Hygiene seems to be regarded as extremely important

Leaking as a right in Richmond
A map provided by tourist information, locations also indicated with stickers
The number of locations is impressive
physical accessibility was not always good (toilets built for pub visitors)

opening hours are limited
fewer 'pee-points' for women
Men who need a stall, bin or sink are at a disadvantage
one needs to enter private space in order to remain in public space

What does a leaky body do in public space?
The urinating body
public semi-public
public private
A sweating body might go to a sex segregated space, or private space to change clothes
A lactating body might seek a private space or a space with other lactating bodies
A vomiting body might find a private space that is easy to clean
A bleeding body might find a private space to clean the blood
A body that needs to be injected might try and do this in a private space
a crying body might run to a private space
Do we need more private spaces in public?
What other purposes can a public toilet have?
How do public toilets make the body use the city ?
Vandalism proof
Public Toilets, Public Space
A bodily perspective on the accessible city

Liselotte Heikens
MA Thesis European Urban Cultures
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