On World Toilet Day, JCDecaux spotlights the San Francisco “AmeniPODS”, the efficient and award-winning self-cleaning public toilets
Paris, November 16th, 2023 – JCDecaux SE (Euronext Paris: DEC), the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, announces that its new San Francisco public toilets, known as “AmeniPODS”, are reshaping the face of the City with more efficient and effective models and an award-winning design, following their first installation a year ago.
A new generation of public amenities in San Francisco.
As an inventor, designer, and operator of San Francisco’s fully accessible self-cleaning toilets, JCDecaux recognises that public toilets are an indispensable service, built to enhance the quality of urban life for the general public and city visitors. While it is a great responsibility to operate and maintain public toilet facilities, it has been equally fulfilling and a pleasure to serve the public for so many years. Through its close collaboration with the City and County of San Francisco and the SmithGroup team, JCDecaux developed a unique, award-winning high-tech design that reflects the vibrant streets of San Francisco. JCDecaux’s maintenance team is dedicated to ensuring these essential hygiene services remain safe, clean and accessible to all. The program is financed through advertising revenue generated by multi-function advertising kiosks.
An award-winning design from SmithGroup.
SmithGroup, a national design firm with a robust San Francisco office, was chosen to redesign the public toilets and multi-function advertising kiosks. The contemporary and elegant design, developed in partnership with JCDecaux, then reviewed and approved by the San Francisco Arts Commission and the City’s Historic Preservation Commission, has received prominent awards over the past several months:
Metropolis – 2023 Planet Positive Awards – Innovation category – Best Social Impact: The AmeniPODS were named as a winner in the Metropolis' Planet Positive Awards, underlining the progress being made towards designing a sustainable and equitable future and creating an inclusive environment.
Fast Company – 2023 Innovation by Design Awards – Urban Design category: the San Francisco public toilets were named as a finalist in this prestigious program which celebrates the designers and businesses solving the most crucial problems of today and anticipating the pressing issues of tomorrow.
Metal Architecture – 2023 Metal Architecture Design Awards: The new generation of public amenities received a Judges Award in the 2023 Metal Architecture Design Awards for being cleaner, safer, more durable and visually compelling, designed to meet the needs of the 21st century urban environment.
JCDecaux: over 40 years of innovation for self-cleaning public toilets.
Ever since JCDecaux installed the first self-cleaning toilets in Paris in 1981, the company has consistently innovated by developing a complete ecosystem. The Group has created eco-designed, high-performance furniture which integrates patented solutions (automatic washing and disinfection of the toilet), rigorous processes and integrated teams dedicated to operations and maintenance, providing a high-quality service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. JCDecaux’s Design Office, based in Plaisir, Les Yvelines (France), continually develops new features to make life easier for city residents and visitors, and accessible to all. In 1993, the self-cleaning toilet became accessible to people with reduced mobility. Voice instructions were made available in several languages, as well as in braille. In 2006, the service became free in Paris, leading to a huge increase in usage. In 2020, JCDecaux developed a urinal module, which can be added to an existing toilet. This increases the availability of the main toilet while also significantly increasing its daily capacity. After the first lockdown, drinking water fountains and hand sanitizer dispensers were installed outside the self-cleaning toilets, transforming them into multi-service hygiene points, unlike any other in today’s urban environment.
JCDecaux operates over 2,500 self-cleaning toilets in 28 countries, used by almost 31 million people every year, including the world’s two largest automatic public toilet contracts:
In Paris, the 435 new generation public self-cleaning toilets, which will be rolled out between 2024 and the beginning of 2025, will increase access to the service in the capital making it the largest network of public self-cleaning toilets in any city worldwide,
In Berlin, the Group won in 2018 the world’s second largest automatic public toilet contract and today operates 278 new generation toilets in the German capital.
JCDecaux’s street furniture and associated services are designed to evolve with their environment and their needs and are an integral part of the global urban landscape.
Bill Katz, Design Principal with SmithGroup, said: “The AmeniPODS are unique to San Francisco, with a design that blends sculpture and technology to create a cleaner, safer and more hygienic experience. With their modeled stainless-steel surface, they literally reflect our diverse city neighborhoods and their deep-rooted history while creating sculptural street furniture. With a clear awareness of the importance of these public amenities in our urban environment, the SmithGroup team set out to make these updated street furniture elements more accessible and approachable through their design and appearance.”
J-Francois Nion, Chief Operating Officer of JCDecaux San Francisco, said: “We are excited to be working collaboratively with both San Francisco Public Works and the project team from SmithGroup. Together we have developed the next generation of street amenities that will better serve San Franciscans and visitors alike supported by a strong maintenance program. Since the installation of the first AmeniPODS on November 2022, over 21,000 flushes have been registered and all the older units will be replaced in the next few years.”
Jean-François Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and Co-Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux, said: “When JCDecaux invented the self-cleaning toilet in 1980, this showed the vision and pioneering approach of the company and importantly started a revolution in access to hygiene facilities in urban areas. We are proud to reiterate our long-standing commitment to San Francisco to supply best-in-class public toilet facilities, and the awards show the importance of their presence in the city. Our continual innovation is enabling cities across the world to meet the challenges of providing access to safe sanitation and hygiene – a fundamental human right that is highlighted on World Toilet Day 2023 on 19th November. Across the world, we must continue our efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6, ensuring access to clean water and sanitation by 2030 which includes universal access to safe toilets.”
SmithGroup (www.smithgroup.com/) is one of the world’s preeminent integrated design firms. Working across a network of 20 offices in the U.S. and China, a team of 1,300 experts is committed to excellence in strategy, design and delivery. The scale of the firm’s thinking and organization produces partnerships with forward-looking clients that maximize opportunities, minimize risk and solve their most complex problems. SmithGroup creates exceptional design solutions for cultural and higher education institutions, science and technology organizations, healthcare, urban environments, diverse workplaces, mixed-use and waterfront developments, and parks and open spaces.
JCDecaux – a French family-owned company founded in 1964 and the No.1 outdoor advertising company worldwide – is committed to improve the quality of life for people wherever they live, work and travel by offering innovative, sustainable street furniture and services that are meeting citizens’ expectations and financed by brands and their advertisement. With a presence in more than 80 countries, JCDecaux is the only company in the world to operate exclusively in the outdoor advertising sector and to develop all of its activities: street furniture, transport advertising and billboards. For almost 60 years, the products and services offered to cities by JCDecaux have been considered the benchmark for quality, aesthetics and functionality. As a sustainable media in contact with more than 850 million people every day and true to its mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens, JCDecaux enhances and promotes responsible outdoor advertising and places social and environmental quality at the core of its solutions and its business. Since 2023, JCDecaux is an official partner of the UN Joint SDG Fund, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals across its Group.
For more information about JCDecaux, please visit jcdecaux.com.
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