Portland Public Toilets

March 8, 2009
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Like most US cities of its size, Portland has seen an evolution in its public (ie.tax-supported) restrooms.   At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the city provided attractively designed comfort stations in parks and open spaces.   In addition, public buildings of the time had comfortable bathrooms.  Over the years building and plumbing codes developed and facilities were modernized.  With the mid-century exodus of residents and retail commerce from the downtown core, restrooms were closed or fell victim to budget cuts and vandalism.   To address changing societal needs of the 21st Century, the city the supplemented existing facilities in public buildings and parks with an innovative sidewalk toilet.

Today the central city is served by a variety of comfort stations, restrooms in public buildings, Portland Loos and a privately owned and operated  ”public restroom”.

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    Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) was founded in Portland and today collaborates with grassroots organizations, environmental activists, and urban planners across North America.

    Through education and advocacy, PHLUSH helps local governments and citizen groups to provide equitable public restroom availability and to prepare for a pipe-breaking seismic event with appropriate ecological toilet systems.

    PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

    PHLUSH believes that toilet availability is a human right and that well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

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