Why Portland’s Public Toilets Succeeded Where others Failed / Published in Citylab

For the residents of Portland, Ore., taking a whiz in a public toilet is not just a matter of necessity. It’s an act of civic pride.That’s because the city is home to the Portland Loo, a unique, patented outdoor bathroom that inspires such worship in its fanbase you’d think that Steve Jobs himself had designed it. This adoration comes despite the fact that the 24-hour loo was built to be as inhospitable as possible. This toilet does not want to be loved, but in Portland, it is No. 1 (and, presumably, sometimes No. 2 as well).

The soulless receptacle for bodily waste has its own blog, Twitter account and Facebook page. When a loo hater set one ablaze last June, Facebook denizens flocked to its defense. “The Portland Loos rock! What other city can boast public restrooms that are fire proof. ;)” wrote Laura Mears, while Charlie Clint chimed in with, “I’m always sending someone to use one of these – and it’s great to hear how sturdy they are! (woo hoo).”

A Yelp review of a new loo at Jamison Square, titled “Epic win!,” is flush with love. “I plan on dropping a mean deuce in that thing ASAP,” wrote Andrew C.

On Jan. 31, Portland officials will christen the city’s fifth loo, at NW Couch St. and 8th Ave., with an inaugural flush. With inspirational artwork furnished by students at the …
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