It’s a victory for men with small bladders. Now, those who need to relieve themselves while out and about in Paris can utilize one of the city’s new “uritrottoirs” — open-air urinals. “Uritrottoirs” are red boxes installed around Paris, as part of the city’s effort to reduce public urination. They look like giant flower boxes, and contain a straw layer meant to reduce odor. They’re also environmentally friendly — the contents of a uritrottoir can be used to fertilize plants.
Not everyone is pleased with this innovative open-air bathroom, however. According to CNN, one local said, “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.”
The fact that the “uritrottoirs” are an ugly sight is not the only problem with the project. It’s hard not to wonder why they were chosen instead of proper, free public bathrooms that provide privacy and could have served all genders.
Three of these new urinals have been around since March, with a fourth added just last month, and more planned in the near future. In remains to be seen, however, if the idea will prove popular. It likely depends on the urinals’ placement and location, as well as whether or not they’re actually successful in curbing instances of illegal public urination.