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Public toilets are now everywhere in Berlin, Source: City of Berlin

Berlin’s public toilets – the bedrock of the urban spaces

Berlin’s public toilets – the bedrock of the urban spaces

The German capital has nearly doubled the number of these facilities, and now citizens can find them via an app

Today, Berlin authorities announced the completion of one of the city's biggest infrastructure projects in recent years – nearly doubling the number of public toilets. The toilets were specially designed with inclusiveness for people with disabilities in mind and will help public spaces in the city become more functional.

At the same time, there is also an app that would satisfy citizens’ "emergency" needs, since it maps the toilet spread across the city. The ‘Berliner Toilette’ app marks an interesting aspect of the digital transformation of public services, expanding it into a realm that had been often overlooked.

Automated, accessible and abundant  

According to a boastful statement by the city, after three years, the ambitious programme for sanitation is now complete and Berlin has the most modern public toilet system in Germany, and one of the largest in Europe. Before, the city used to have only 259 facilities and now it has 418, all fully automated and adapted to people with disabilities.

The project was commissioned in August 2020 and finished this year, with 278 new toilets, part of those replacing older facilities. Many of the facilities were placed in public spaces with special care to take into account pedestrian flow and available transport connections, as to cast a wide net on the population.

Furthermore, Bettina Jarasch, berlin Senator for the Environment, explained that the pandemic highlighted the need for accessible toilets. According to a press release, she believes that barrier-free toilets are the cornerstone of any well-functioning public space in a city.

Patrick Möller, Managing Director of Betreiber Wall GmbH, the company that manages the toilets and finalised the project, was quoted in a press release saying: "With today's commissioning of the 278th Berlin spot, we complete the modernization of Berlin's public toilet infrastructure. Despite the corona pandemic, we managed to complete this major project on schedule. Now the ongoing maintenance of the toilet facilities comes to the fore. We expect many millions of uses per year over the next few years.”

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