- The French Open air urinal captures a rather immoral behavior in Europe’s country of love
- It was set up to curb decades of a tradition that saw it fit to ease one’s bowels in the streets of Paris
- The move was criticized at first but the sidewalk urinals are now a thing
- The French Open will take place starting May 22 to June 5
What is it about French Open air urinal? What’s all the fuss about it now as tennis fans prepare for yet another riveting major Grand Slam showdown at Roland Gaross?
The 2022 showdown is set to commence on May 22 through to June 5 in France. However, what’s intriguing is the tournament’s open air urinal history.
The history about it is interesting just as much as it is emotive for some people in and out of France.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
WHY ARE THERE PUBLIC URINALS IN FRANCE?
The perfect answer about French Open air urinal is that they are a common phenomenon.
According to 2018 report by CNN, some Parisians were incensed by city officials’ plan to put up the open-air urinals. The officials said that this move was to combat public urination.
The urinals – that exist even today – enclosed in flower boxes are painted bright red and have placards nearby promoting their presence on street corners.
However, there was one in particular that sparked controversy because of its location near Seine River. But, city officials explained that these facilities are ‘intelligent’ because they have a straw layer that removes odor.
They were installed in areas where public peeing is a problem – which is all about French Open air urinal. Interestingly, utilities use the waste nutrients to make compost for parks and gardens.
A person’s urine contains enough nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in one year to fertilize 400 square meters of wheat. This makes them eco-friendly especially when multitudes of people throng Roland Gaross for the 2022 Grand Slam.
Despite the justification by the officials, the move still elicited displeasure with some people who petitioned the Town Hall.
However, the presence of these urinals bring back the memories of World War II. When it came to securing vital military intelligence from the enemy during World War II, the armed forces became creative.
Carrier pigeons were used by the English. In the hands of the Nazis was the Enigma code-breaking device. As for the French, they had open-air urinals. The pissotières of Paris, first constructed in the 1830s, became popular meeting places for members of the French Resistance.
They would surreptitiously exchange intelligence on enemy movements here, according to a piece by Digby Warde-Aldam in the Guardian.
DO MEN PEE ON THE STREET IN PARIS?
While you wonder what there is all about French Open air urinal, men are to blame for bringing them back.
Paris fourth district mayor Ariel Weil is on record saying that men would continue peeing in the streets if nothing was done. Weil said it public urinating bothers people so much which inspired the setting up of uritrottiers.
Ideally, uritrottiers is a French word meaning a pavement and urinal. These facilities easily recognizable as they are bright red and are in strategic corners of every stress within the French capital.
The most infamous open-air urinal was the one erected near the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral.
They solved a nightmare that was easing one’s bowel in the street without much care. Nevertheless, critics say that the urinals are sexist.
CAN YOU PEE IN PUBLIC IN FRANCE?
It is illegal to relieve yourself in public while in Paris. Les pipis sauvages, or wild peeing, plagued the city of love since before Napoleon’s time.
So the city made a public blunder into something that resembles a public service by building open-air facilities. Public urinals were installed in high-urination locations in partnership with Faltazi, a French design agency.
Straw or sawdust masks the stench in the Uritrottoir. After around 200 “deposits,” a sensor informs an attendant to dump the contents of the container.
Co-creator Laurent Lebot claims the compost is used “just for flowers” after the combination is sent to a composting site. Fruits and veggies are off limits.
DOES PARIS SMELL LIKE URINE?
Years back, a strong bout of ammonia would welcome you to Paris but this is no longer the case. The open-air urinals were an excellent remedy for this old-age problem that nearly took away the city’s glory.
Today, the scents of fresh bread, coffee, beautiful fragrances and cigarette smoke welcome you to this city.