For more than 40 years, JCDecaux, the world leader in outdoor advertising, has worked to improve access to hygiene in public spaces by offering city dwellers, visitors and tourists around the world universal self-cleaning toilets.
Street furniture of general interest appeared in France in the 19th century to combat urban uncleanliness, public toilets evolved and modernized to meet the increasingly important challenges of urban health, cleanliness and hygiene, but also of human dignity. From the Parisian Vespasiennes of 1834, reserved for men only, to the self-cleaning sanitary models invented by JCDecaux in the 1980s and made accessible to women for the first time, this furniture is helping to make public spaces cleaner and cleaner.
JCDecaux: more than 40 years of innovation in self-cleaning sanitary ware
Since the installation of the first JCDecaux self-cleaning toilets in Paris in 1981, the company has never stopped innovating and building a complete ecosystem: eco-designed and efficient furniture, based on patented washing solutions and automatic disinfection of sanitary facilities, rigorous processes and integrated teams , dedicated to maintenance and servicing to ensure a quality service 365 days a year and up to 24 hours a day. Based in Plaisir dans les Yvelines in France, the design studio JCDecaux constantly offers new features to adapt to daily life in the city to facilitate residents and visitors, women, men, children, the elderly or people with disabilities.
From 1993, the self-cleaning sanitary building became accessible to people with restricted mobility. Multilingual and Braille voice prompts are available. As of 2006, the free service in Paris contributed to a huge increase in usage and demonstrated the robustness of its design and its upkeep/maintenance. Each phase of the life cycle of self-cleaning sanitary ware has been studied to balance quality and an optimized environmental footprint. In 2020, JCDecaux developed a “urinal” module that can be added to an existing cubicle. It promotes the availability of the most important sanitary facilities and significantly increases the daily intake capacity. With the provision of drinking water fountains and hydroalcoholic solution dispensers outside the cabin during the Covid crisis, the self-cleaning toilets represent unprecedented multi-service hygiene points in the urban space.
The world’s leading network of self-cleaning public toilets
Public toilets, which are subject to certain requirements, are not street furniture like others. Their proper functioning requires a perfect understanding of the applications combined with mastery of design and operation. Drawing on its unique expertise, JCDecaux today manages the world’s leading network of self-cleaning public toilets. Today, many cities such as San Francisco or Stockholm have installed public toilets funded by advertising on street furniture and benefit from the economic model invented by JCDecaux.
The group operates more than 2,500 toilets in 28 countries with a total of more than 31 million visitors a year, including 15 million in Paris. These public toilets are an integral part of the global urban landscape.
From Paris to Berlin, via Marseille, Abidjan and Lagos, JCDecaux offers furniture and related services that evolve with their environment and with their times.
A new toilet designed by JCDecaux for San Francisco will be launched downtown very soon, continuing the collaboration that began in 1994.
A new generation of self-cleaning toilets for the city of Paris: modernized, more ecological and respectful of Parisian aesthetics
JCDecaux has been selected by the City of Paris to supply and operate their next automated toilet service, which will replace the system in place since 2009, also operated by JCDecaux. Designed and assembled in France, these new toilets will improve access to service in Paris: 435 next-generation automatic maintenance toilets will be phased in between 2024 and early 2025. These will now feature a huge universal access main cabin doubled by a second urinal cabin also fitted with a door and roof to ensure user privacy. The waiting time between each use of the main cabin is divided by three and limited to just thirty seconds, during which the sanitary elements are cleaned and disinfected for the comfort of the next user. The urinal cabin will be accessible without waiting and will be disinfected between each use.
In this way, the reception capacity of this new generation of toilets will be doubled and the availability of the service will be quadrupled throughout the capital, making it by far the first global network of automatic toilets in a city’s public areas. The sanitary facilities are particularly sober, as water consumption is reduced by almost 2/3 and electricity consumption by 1/3 compared to current equipment. The toilets are powered by 100% renewable electricity and the contribution to collective carbon neutrality covers all their maintenance, servicing and operational activities. The aesthetics of the sanitary building was entrusted to Patrick Jouin, also designer of the current sanitary building in the capital. Its silhouette will thus be part of the continuity of the existing model, to encourage user identification of the service and ensure its integration into the Parisian landscape.