Seriously? Urinoirs?

Taking a break from Software Engineering and looking at Sanitation Engineering and public health, through the lens of Urinoirs, which are public, sometimes mobile, stalls for urination.

Soho, London Stainless Steel

Here is a picture of the first urinoir I had ever seen, in Soho Square, London, UK. This particular device is currently in its closed configuration, during the daytime. At night, park managers unlock it and it unfolds like a stainless steel butterfly, ready to sanitarily capture and dispose of men’s urine, apparently into a sewer drain beneath.

Soho Park Urinoir

When I was in Amsterdam, Netherlands, I learned the word urinoir for these devices, and found a beautiful wrought-iron urinoir while I patiently waited for my wife to find solace in a coffee shop bathroom. This one has a large tile design surrounding it, and the urinoir is a spiral shape that provides sufficient privacy, but not so much that violent crimes may be committed within (the normal risk for public bathrooms).

Amsterdam Urinoir

Back in London, mysteriously added to the Soho Square scene in my absence, I saw yet a third variant on the urinoir, which I call the 4-banger. This allows four men to relieve themselves without having to see each other’s faces (unless they happen to be very tall).

London 4-Banger Urinoir

Why is this relevant?

Because these are cheap and safe ways to deal with one of the many challenges of civilization. This perhaps frees up the possibility of resources for more secure, sanitary facilities for women and non-urination purposes.