Portland Public Toilet Types

Portland Case Study

Public Toilet Types - The Case of Portland

Like most US cities of its size, Portland, Oregon has seen an evolution in its public - that is tax-supported - restrooms.

Comfort Stations  At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Portland provided attractively designed comfort stations in parks and open spaces. With the exodus of residents and retail commerce from the downtown core in the mid-Twentieth Century, many restrooms were closed or fell victim to budget cuts and vandalism.

Restrooms in Public Buildings City buildings and public libraries have always offered public restrooms. Over the years toilets have been modified to meet water conservation regulations.

In 2015, the Portland City Council, unanimously passed a resolution for inclusive restrooms.  City building now offer All-User Restrooms which serve disabled users, users with opposite gender attendants, and users whose identity does not conform to a the gender binary.

The Portland Loo To address changing societal needs of the 21st Century and to support the active lifestyles of Portlanders, the city has supplemented existing facilities in public buildings and parks with the Portland Loo. This innovative sidewalk toilet was developed and patented by the city. Today Portland Loos are in use throughout North America and their sale provides revenue to Portland.

Privately owned and operated ”public restrooms".  Building and plumbing codes mandate restrooms in all buildings. The number of toilets, urinals and sinks is based on occupancy.  Large stores, hotels, and human service agencies often serve the public with restrooms. A remarkable example is the Portland Rescue Mission, where attendants offer round the clock access to restrooms.

 


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