The Importance of Clean, Accessible Public Bathrooms

What is the situation with public bathrooms in your city or town? Is it easy to find public bathrooms that are also clean, well maintained and accessible?

I’ve lived in many communities (that otherwise would be regarded as sophisticated, modern ad well developed) where finding well-maintained public bathrooms is a real challenge.

Public bathroom in central Skawina, Poland

So much so that I actually passed by this public bathroom several times (in the southern Poland town of Skawina) and never thought to use it due to the location (down a flight of stairs on the main square) and just assuming it would be ill-maintained.

Boy was I wrong!

Public bathroom in central Skawina, Poland

In fact, I am consistently positively surprised by the level of cleanliness, maintenance and access of public bathrooms that I have experienced in Poland thus far. The approach to public restrooms here offers some great examples on how to provide these absolutely basic of public amenities.

Public bathroom in central Skawina, Poland

Universal access is definitely an issue with this particular restroom (down the flight of stairs, perhaps there is a wheelchair-accessible bathroom nearby) but otherwise, this is a fantastic example of a well-maintained public bathroom. There is a person on staff continuously in there with an office in between the men’s and women’s side who cleans each side regularly and it is also completely free to use.

Public bathroom in central Skawina, Poland

Below is a short clip I recorded about public bathroom in Park Jordana in Kraków. It is open from 10 am to 7 pm ad staffed that entire time by someone who ensures that the bathrooms are clean and well maintained. It costs 2 zł.

A short clip I recorded on one of the public bathrooms in Park Jordana here

Accessible, clean and well-maintained public bathrooms are a basic issue of public health. What’s the situation in your community?

-Annika Lundkvist, Founder at Pedestrian Space