from Link Magazine Swindon

Making public toilets a bigger concern for all

29th February 2012 by Roger Ogle

professor clara greedThey are of interest to everybody, particularly when you’re caught short, but policy makers and planners don’t think about them too much.

But on 26 March Dr Clara Greed, Emeritus Professor of inclusive urban planning at the University of the West of England Bristol, right, has been invited to talk at the Swindon Equality Coalition about the unequal and inadequate provision of public toilets, and how they are a low priority for high-level policy makers.

Dr Greed was originally a town planner but got involved in the ‘social aspects of planning.’ She has undertaken a range of research on questions of equality, diversity,  gender, and accessibility, but has concentrated on one key issue in recent years, namely public toilet provision, as ‘all human life is there.’

From a gender perspective inadequate and unequal toilet provision for women in the workplace, and in places of entertainment, sport and retail activity, all contribute to long queues, reduced productivity and poor health amongst women. Unequal toilet provision for women is one of the last frontiers to be conquered.

From a disability perspective inaccessible, inadequate and limited levels of provision for those with disabilities, reduces the chances of people getting out and about, working, travelling and living their lives.

From an environmental perspective, public toilets are the missing link in terms of creating sustainable cities, as if the government wants people to get out of their cars and back on to public transport, then accessible, decent public toilets are needed at all transport hubs and locally for all those walking and cycling.

Dr Greed’s will be talking at the Swindon Equality Coalition on Monday 26 March, 5pm to 7pm in Park South Community Centre, Cranmore Avenue, Swindon SN3 2ES.

For more information call 01792 466515 or mail: equalitycoalition@swindon.gov.uk

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