How might we confront NYC’s lack of infrastructure when it comes to clean, safe, accessible public restrooms?
RoleResearch, Iteration, Prototyping,
Building with Developer
I’ve been living in New York for a little less than a year and frequently have noticed how few public restrooms are available. For my residency, I decided to dig into this issue, and discover why the city felt like a wasteland of public bathrooms.
New York’s public parks provide the primary location for public restrooms, but are often unsanitary, out of the way, and few and far between- which can make them feel like they don’t exist.
Over a decade ago, New York City made a deal for 20 automated public toilets to be installed in five boroughs- but, in the end, all but three of the automatic and self-cleaning toilets currently sit in a warehouse in Queens “waiting” to be deployed.
The city Department of Transportation said that finding locations to install the automated bathrooms has been challenging over the past 10 years due to access to utilities and community support.
With all of this in mind, I developed the design question “how might we give citizens of NYC a better idea of where existing public bathrooms are, and how might we give them opportunities to ask for more clean, accessible, and safe bathrooms?”
In building the site structure, I placed the basic information top level, and then as the user scrolls downwards, the map and directions element of the site (the primary value of the site), and then the secondary information, with a direct link to the petition for more restrooms (the secondary value of the site), followed by contact information.