Rely on metropolitan businesses to improve access to public restrooms
— Nov 8, 2016
Who hasn’t wished for better availability of public restrooms? The best alternative is still to enter a restaurant, pretend you’re a customer and slip into the restroom when the waiter or waitress isn’t looking.
German cities have implemented the “Nette Toilette” (Nice Restrooms) program to solve the problem of access to public restrooms. The cities pay businesses like restaurants, bars, cafés and stores from €30 to €100 euros per month to provide passers-by with free access to their restrooms. These businesses place a sticker on their window indicating that they belong to the city’s restroom network.
This program has enabled a very notable increase in the number of installations available for inhabitants without having to make a major financial investment. Public restrooms cost cities a sizable amount of money, since they are expensive to build and maintain. As an example, the network for the city of Bremen costs only €150,000 per year through this program, instead of over one million euros for restrooms managed by the city only.
Over 210 German cities use this system. Late last October, Munich adopted the program, making it the largest urban area in the network.
We like: This compromise that works for everyone: users, the city and merchants who benefit from having more people pass through their stores.
We were inspired by: The optimization that is at the heart of this initiative: it’s based on existing objects or structures and gives them new usefulness and a broader scope.
#accessibility #local #urbanplanning #humancentered