8 October 2014

Paving the Cow-Paths for Public Urination

Without any doubt public urination is nasty. It’s icky, it stinks and, when taken to a large scale, it’s a health hazard. Yet, so many, usually men, still do it. I guess, the main “engine” of public urination is beer or other alcoholic drinks that mess with the part of the brain which controls urination.

In old city centres (though not only) there is another hazard of public urination, namely the damage brought to the historical buildings. Urine is corrosive and when thousands of litters are “poured” on 400 year old bricks, there is a slow, but sure erosion of the bricks.

Inventive, as always when it comes to managing vices, the Dutch came up with the “open air urinal”. Not particularly elegant and with very little privacy – but who cares about privacy after 20 beers – they do the job.

Open air urinal in The Hague (Den Haag) city center. Most interestingly, during the day these urinals are hidden underground and risen at night.

Open air urinal in The Hague (Den Haag) city center while hidden during the day.

Open air urinal in Scheveningen (beach near The Hague).

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