Change Magazine January 2018 Issue - Page 58

INNOVATION PUBLIC TOILET REVOLUTIONS UNDER WAY Junzhe Shen China’s Toilet Revolution Few Chinese would realize that a revolution is underway when they step into a public toilet by the street. In 2015, the Chinese central government leaders, led by president Xi Jinping, declared that a nationwide “Toilet Revolution” is needed to push forward the construction of public toilets for tourism and rural development. A target of building 57,000 public toilets in three years was set. With the support from the central government, the revolution has attracted efforts of various local governments and is making great progress. In Anhui Province, the Implemental Measures of Toilets Improvement Project in Rural Areas was issued. 54 The project requires each region to record construction and management dynamics of toilets into a certain system so that any progress of the revolution could be tracked. In cities like Yueyang and Chun’an, the county party secretaries are appointed as directors of public toilets so as to improve management. Many other measures have been taken to boost the revolution among which is the Meizhou Mode which features innovations in toilet management. Meizhou has been implementing a management philosophy that relies on the efforts of merchants for the proper maintenance of public restrooms. Specifically, it features the integration of shops, garbage stations, and old men’s entertainment rooms to ensure the sustainable development of public Change Magazine January 2018 www.changemag-diinsider.com restrooms in tourist areas. As a result, Meizhou has been listed as one of the “Advanced Cities of Restroom Overhaul” by the National Tourism Administration. Innovations have also gone beyond management mode to continuously improve the construction quality, environmental protection level, and technology of public restrooms in different places. The local government of Hohhot for instance has launched one of the very first Smart Public Restrooms that have been upgraded and retrofitted. It features a ramp for disabled people, dual deodorization systems, and automatic fragrant systems. Automatic induction lamps will turn on once users open the restroom doors. The layout has been redesigned with a new gender ratio for the number of toilet cubicles. In addition, the toilet lounge has expanded and is equipped with free toilet papers, toilet seat cushion papers, WIFI, hot water, and a vending machine. People can log in on the local App of Smart City Management that offers information on these restrooms. Generally, it is apparent that public restrooms have become increasingly environmentally friendly, people-oriented, and smart. proposals from China, Korea, U.S. and several other countries were submitted. Meanwhile, local organizations focusing on addressing public health problems have also sprung up. The Yuting Foundation based in Kunshan has launched projects including construction assistance of toilets in poverty-stricken areas, and the distribution of toilet paper in school restrooms. Participation of civil power has also played a unique role in the revolution’s progress. In 2016, the Chinese Bureau of Tourism together with Bill & Melinda Gate’s Foundation, kicked off the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge- China. Research teams in China were encouraged to develop a “next-generation toilet,” which is waterless and hygienic, does not require a sewer connection or electricity, and costs less than five U.S. cents per user, per day. As a result, over 50 innovative According to the official data, by August 2017, 50,916 public toilets have been built or rebuilt nationwide which has completed approximately 90% of the three- year target. The statistics look quite good. However, there are core problems to be addressed. First of all, the construction and management of Chinese public toilets are at a relative preliminary stage, which means the gap between China and developed countries is still obvious. For instance, Japanese public toilets 参赛作品:社区粪尿密闭收集与肥料化——气冲厕所为基础的卫生系统(牵头单位:万若 环境工程技术有限公司;参与单位:清华大学,北京农林科学院) are more user-centered than Chinese ones. Second, as China is such a large country, the differences of natural endowment and development between regions are huge. However, the revolution seems to have widened instead of narrowing the gap in that it has put great emphasis on the construction of public toilets for tourism, which is more likely to be supported by wealthy local governments in eastern China. Lastly, the Toilet Revolution in China still [Y\]XۈB\ܝوHݙ\Y[X\YX]؛[\X\\X]Xܘ]\KܛX[\H[XوX[\X\][ۋH[\ܝ[HوXX[]Xܙ[ܙ\ۈ[[•]\[]][ۈ[YY[B MX\YHSPQ[ۛH H[[ۈ[BܛYH[HYH[X[[][HLZ[[ۈ[B[XXH[YX][ۋ[ܙ[ݙ\[X\][Y[Y\ HوH[][ۂY[\[X[]Y\X[œ\܈]\[H HY™X[]Y\][ \H]X][ۜš]H]\YY\ۈ[x&\šX[\^H\H[\XB[X[]\[Y^ܙ[Y[ [[]Z]\˜\Z[\\\ˈ[Y\XK\[IHوH[][ۈ]BX\H\X[][[\[X]Y LH[]\H K [[YHوX\X[[\\[X[KHH]H][ HX›وXXX[[\X\\˜[ۛHXY܈X[[HXYو\Y[ZX][[XY\ۈ][ۘ[[XYK\\][H\Z[XB][Y[[[\B]Z[X[]H[\Z[XB˘[[XYYZ[Y\H[HXY^[H[X\H NM