UNISEX public toilets have made an appearance in parts of the city, with every district and county expected to have one or two by the year end, authorities said yesterday.
The first are in operation in Jing’an, Xuhui and Jiading districts, and are modified disabled toilets, plus some newly built facilities, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said.
They are intended to be used by parents with children of different sexes and adults accompanying seniors or disabled people of different sexes who need help, the bureau said.
Some have changing facilities for babies.
“Unisex toilets are a future trend,” said Zhang Chaoyun, deputy director of the Shanghai Public Sanitation and Environment Quality Monitoring Center, which is affiliated to the bureau.
There is no standard on unisex toilets in China, and Shanghai is helping trial them, he added.
While there are a few unisex toilets at airports, parks, railway stations and shopping malls, this is the first time that public toilets on city streets have featured them.
Some members of the public seemed uncertain about the idea of unisex toilets, but most spoken to by Shanghai Daily said it is good to have them.
“I’ve never heard of such a kind of toilets and it sounds strange, and I’d feel a bit uneasy if I saw a man coming in, said city resident Michelle Deng.
“But all in all, it is good to have such toilets for those who need them,” she added.
At present, Shanghai has 2,608 public toilets.