New supposedly eco-friendly urinals in Paris have (literally!) pissed off locals, due to their rather public nature.
Installed on the Île Saint-Louis sitting on the Seine river, the uritrottoir (the combined French words for urinal and pavement) boxes have reportedly been deployed as an odorless “eco solution to public peeing,” designer Laurent Lebot told Reuters.
Each of the four bright red boxes has an opening at the front, and straw laden within, which apparently can be collected and used for compost for public parks. Each urinal comes with a little flower box on top, because why not?
Local mayor Ariel Weil reiterated designer Lebot’s sentiment, telling the news service that the urinals are vital to curbing a prevailing public peeing problem.
“If we don’t do anything, then men are just going to pee in the streets,” he said. “If it is really bothering people, we will find another location.”
But locals will be damned if they see the urinals remain, and are reportedly demanding their removal from the town hall, vowing to petition against them. 68-year-old Venetian art store owner Paola Pellizzari told Reuters the concept was “immodest” and “incites exhibitionism.”
“There’s no need to put something so immodest and ugly in such an historic spot,” she said. “It’s beside the most beautiful townhouse on the island, the Hotel de Lauzun, where Baudelaire lived.”
Some are even calling the urinals “sexist,” as they’re only really able to be used by men standing up.
“They have been installed on a sexist proposition: men cannot control themselves (from the bladder point of view) and so all of society has to adapt,” Gwendoline Coipeault of French feminist group Femmes Solidaires told the news service. “The public space must be transformed to cause them minimum discomfort. It’s absurd, no one needs to urinate in the street.”
So far there are four urinals on the Île Saint-Louis, with a fifth planned for installation. It’s a test by the local council, so hopefully the devices will curb public peeing sooner rather than later, when that petition gets underway.