MSc Thesis AMS Institute - (Rest)room for Improvement: An analysis on the social inclusiveness of public restrooms in the Netherlands

MADE Student Project

Public sanitation is an important aspect of daily life. The awareness around the shortage of proper public sanitation is growing, however only focussing on more general groups of the population. This thesis uses this momentum to contribute to the social inclusiveness of public restrooms. By means of a user survey, this study demonstrates a correlation between negative experiences of public restroom use and non-cisgender people, older adults and physically less able people in the Netherlands. The results show the importance to focus on the number (one every 500 metres) and hygiene of public restrooms, the wayfinding in and towards facilities, having plenty of space, proper restroom bound facilities and lastly, an open feel to improve the feeling of safety. Especially in parks and recreational areas more sanitation facilities are necessary.

References can be found inside the document.

A combination of male/female and gender neutral stalls turned out to be preferred. The results of the study are translated into design guidelines to help city planners and designers of public restrooms develop more socially inclusive sanitation facilities. The findings of this study should be used to design socially inclusive public restroom. However, design is trivial when there are not enough public restrooms open to everyone. Future research should focus on the feasibility and implementation of more and more socially inclusive sanitation facilities.

Author: Justine Donia Nota 

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