Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

5-8-2024 11:00 AM

End Date

5-8-2024 1:00 PM

Subjects

Urban planning and environment

Other

University Honors

Advisor

Shirley Jackson

Student Level

Undergraduate

Abstract

Why People Pee in Public: Is a Lack of Public Restrooms Keeping Portland Too Weird?

Cece Austin1, Shirley Jackson, PhD12

1University Honors Department, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA 2Department of Sociology, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA

Various factors, including gender, housing status, socioeconomic status, and disability, impact access to public restrooms in Portland, Oregon. A pilot program involving the implementation of public restrooms has caused a significant reduction in public defecation in San Francisco. This research demonstrates the efficacy of this existing working model, which could be similarly implemented in Portland with some adjustments. Portland has the Portland Loos, which are single-stall, outdoor public restrooms. Still, many are not open 24 hours. An analysis of publicly available Google reviews indicates consistent poor cleanliness and Portland Loos being locked at times when they are advertised to be open, especially in downtown locations. While Portland has many public restrooms, like Portland Loos, the fact that some are ill-maintained or closed when they shouldn’t be indicates that they are not making enough positive change. In addition, many restrooms in facilities like restaurants require purchasing products when they previously did not or no longer allow restroom access, even with a purchase. The next step in this research is to implement survey distribution and analysis surrounding the intersectionality of public restroom access, uncovering potential inequities and assessing the specific requirements needed to augment the existing model successfully to fit the city.

Creative Commons License or Rights Statement

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Urban Studies Commons

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May 8th, 11:00 AM May 8th, 1:00 PM

Why People Pee in Public: Is a Lack of Public Restrooms Keeping Portland Too Weird?

Why People Pee in Public: Is a Lack of Public Restrooms Keeping Portland Too Weird?

Cece Austin1, Shirley Jackson, PhD12

1University Honors Department, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA 2Department of Sociology, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA

Various factors, including gender, housing status, socioeconomic status, and disability, impact access to public restrooms in Portland, Oregon. A pilot program involving the implementation of public restrooms has caused a significant reduction in public defecation in San Francisco. This research demonstrates the efficacy of this existing working model, which could be similarly implemented in Portland with some adjustments. Portland has the Portland Loos, which are single-stall, outdoor public restrooms. Still, many are not open 24 hours. An analysis of publicly available Google reviews indicates consistent poor cleanliness and Portland Loos being locked at times when they are advertised to be open, especially in downtown locations. While Portland has many public restrooms, like Portland Loos, the fact that some are ill-maintained or closed when they shouldn’t be indicates that they are not making enough positive change. In addition, many restrooms in facilities like restaurants require purchasing products when they previously did not or no longer allow restroom access, even with a purchase. The next step in this research is to implement survey distribution and analysis surrounding the intersectionality of public restroom access, uncovering potential inequities and assessing the specific requirements needed to augment the existing model successfully to fit the city.