• Engaged: Re-using empty commercial premises as public toilets, as a model within high street regeneration

Traina, Rosanna, Ramster, Gail ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8864-7105 and Bichard, Jo-Anne, 2022, Conference or Workshop, Engaged: Re-using empty commercial premises as public toilets, as a model within high street regeneration at Healthy City Design 2022, London, 10-11 Oct 2022.

Abstract or Description:

In this presentation we will share the findings of the first stage of the Engaged project. Engaged aims to put a toilet on every high street, by re-using empty commercial premises to build public toilets. The Engaged model proposes to share premises with start-ups, incubator space or community initiatives, while providing an overlooked public health infrastructure that supports high street regeneration. The toilet facilities will be designed with the local communities through co-design methods, to meet the needs of those otherwise excluded from the high street. The Engaged approach aims to combine the needs of inclusive design, public health, and both financial and environmental sustainability, within the city landscape.

The first stage of Engaged was: to test the feasibility of the proposed model within high street regeneration; to identify opportunities & barriers within London Local authority regeneration teams; and to gain insight into mechanisms for funding e.g. business models / grants / proposition within council tender process.

To meet these aims, HHCD and Pim.studio architects held a workshop with London council regeneration officers, in May 2022. The online workshop shared the idea of inclusive public toilets, identified opportunities for toilets within specific regeneration schemes, and captured the officers’ barriers to Engaged in general and within each local context. Data was captured through structured online activities in breakout sessions, using the software Miro, which facilitated both the sharing and development of individual ideas and knowledge-sharing between regeneration officers.

Data was analysed thematically and used to inform a pre-feasibility study for different models of Engaged, for example, small commercial premises, larger community spaces, and temporary self-contained facilities. The researchers then reframed the Engaged model, based on the workshop findings (in progress). This stage of Engaged informs and complements two further elements: evidencing the UK-wide need for an emphasis on public toilets within high street regeneration through expert engagement, geographic data and a review of government guidance; and the prototyping and testing of a co-design approach with a London community within one of the regeneration schemes identified.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W290 Design studies not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: Research Centres > Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
Funders: Mayor of London; LEAP
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2023 14:01
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2023 14:01
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5564
Edit Item (login required) Edit Item (login required)