Open-air urinals installed in Paris, France cause public outrage

The last surviving vespasienne or pissoir in Paris is seen on the boulevard Arago

The last surviving vespasienne or pissoir in Paris is seen on the boulevard Arago

A new set of eco-friendly but completely exposed urinals are taking over the street of Paris and they're also provoking uproar from locals.

"There's no need to put something so immodest and ugly in such a historic spot", said Paola Pellizzari, 68, owner of a Venetian art store.

So far there are four urinals on the Île Saint-Louis, with a fifth planned for installation.

"It's beside the most handsome townhouse on the island, the Hotel de Lauzun, where Baudelaire lived", she said, referring to the 19th-century French poet.

Residents with businesses in the areas of Gare du Lyon and Île Saint-Louis have deemed the urinals offensive and are protesting to have them removed as they fear the contraptions will tarnish their chic neighbourhood, and encourage exhibitionism.

"It's terrible", another resident said.

"We're told we have to accept this but this is absolutely unacceptable".

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Local mayor Ariel Weil reiterated designer Lebot's sentiment, telling the news service that the urinals are vital to curbing a prevailing public peeing problem.

Officials say the uritrottoirs (a combination of the French words for "urinal" and "pavement") are eco-friendly (nutrients from waste will be used to make compost) and "intelligent" (a layer of straw eliminates odors), but that hasn't stopped residents from complaining.

Some have even branded their installation discriminatory.

In case they weren't already problematic enough, some have even described the urinals as discriminatory, with French feminist group Femmes Solidaires arguing that the public space has be transformed to suit the needs of 'men who can not control themselves'.

'The public space must be transformed to cause them minimum discomfort'.

"It's a little weird. but if you need to go it's better than to going on the street", admits Jonathan, a tourist from NY who examined the rectangular facility with plants growing on top, which offers little or no privacy to those looking for roadside relief.

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