Engaged seeks to increase the time people spend in high streets and town centres by creating pathways to reuse empty commercial and community space as long-term public toilet solutions. It is part of the Mayor of London’s ‘Designing London’s Recovery’ programme which supports projects that take a design-led approach to address London’s post-pandemic challenges.
At a glance: key objectives
- Co-design a community-run public toilet with a local community (Hackney Central), increasing awareness of inclusive design.
- Overcome existing barriers, perceptions and concerns of council-run or privately-managed public toilets within existing premises, for a London context.
- Build evidence of a UK-wide need for inclusive public toilets within high street regeneration.
Engaged tackled the challenge at three levels.
At the local level, we were supported by London Borough of Hackney to run engagement and co-design activities within the context of Hackney Central and its Site Allocations for future development.
Through a walking tour, activities at a local market, and online co-design workshop with local community groups, we are developing design proposals for an inclusive public toilet facility that meets local needs.
Regionally, we ran a workshop with Regeneration Officers from eight London boroughs to understand the challenges to and opportunities for introducing public toilets into existing premises within high street regeneration.
Finally, we interviewed experts at the local and national level within government, retail, commerce, urban design and crime to build evidence of the national need for public toilets on high streets, to understand the current decline in facilities, and gather feedback on the Engaged model as a possible solution.
London Regeneration Workshop Report (June 2022)
Pre-feasibility Study (June 2022)
National Need Report (August 2022)
Co-Design Report (September 2022)
Engaged: Final Report (November 2022)
Designing London’s Recovery: London Design Festival, V&A Museum, London. 22nd September 2022.
Ramster, G and Bichard, J. (2021) Recognising, reopening and redesigning public toilets as critical public health infrastructure. Environments by Design: Health, Wellbeing and Place (virtual conference). 1-3 Dec 2021.
Ramster, G. & Bichard, J (2022) Engaged, a toilet on every high street. ‘Sustainability needs Inclusivity’ Festival. 13-14 June 2022, Norrkoping, Sweden.
Traina, R, Ramster, G and Bichard, J (2022). Engaged: Re-using empty commercial premises as public toilets, as a model within high street regeneration, Healthy City Design, London 10-11 Oct 2022