Open-air urinals cause uproar in Paris
An attempt by officials in Paris to tackle public urination by installing open-air urinals, or “uritrottoirs,” has outraged some residents of the French capital.
The new urinals, housed in flower boxes, aren’t subtle — they’re fully exposed on street corners, are painted bright red and have nearby signs advertising their presence.
The “intelligent urinals,” which have a straw layer that eliminates odor, were installed in areas where public urination is a problem, according to a statement from city officials.
“I think installing a urinal in the streets of Paris for those who don’t respect their surroundings is a good idea, but in my opinion, this model is not attractive at all, and where it’s been set up is not appropriate at all,” one man told reporters.
Public urinals, or pissoirs as they’re known in French, have a long history in Paris, dating back to the late 1800s when they were installed for men traveling to and from work.
It wasn’t until women started entering the workforce in greater numbers decades later that the need for enclosed cubicles with seats, toilet paper and hand basins emerged, explained Raymond Morris, managing director of the British Toilet Association.