In cities the world over, men (and, to a lesser extent, women) who urinate in the street — al fresco — are a scourge of urban life, costing millions of dollars for cleaning and the repair of damage to public infrastructure. And, oh, the stench.
Now, Paris has a new weapon against what the French call “les pipis sauvages” or “wild peeing”: a sleek and eco-friendly public toilet. Befitting the country of Matisse, the urinal looks more like a modernist flower box than a receptacle for human waste.
The latest innovation is called the Uritrottoir, which translates to “pavement urinal.” Created by the industrial design studio Faltazi, the Uritrottoir is a two-layer box: The top is fitted with a urinal trough, and loaded with flowers growing within rich compost. The compost is started in the bottom box, which has a little portal that leads to straw—straw that you pee on.