London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has plans to turn the capital’s toilets into gender-neutral spaces, a move that he hopes will reflect the capital’s incredible diversity. Advocates of gender-neutral spaces see the policy helping trans and non-binary people feel more comfortable.
Sadiq’s “London Plan” will call on building planners and developers to include more gender-neutral toilets in places like leisure centres, shopping malls and cinemas, in a bid to reflect London’s diverse population.
Gender-neutral toilets are usually toilets in separate cubicles, with a shared hand washing and drying area. Doors and walls of each cubicle are floor to ceiling length. These spaces could house baby changing facilities and have better access for people with disabilities.
“We need a range of toilets to reflect diversity”
Mr Khan said, “I have vowed to be a Mayor for all Londoners so I am determined to ensure that everyone has the ability to enjoy our great city to its fullest.
“Toilets are a vital public service and can help to shape the experience of the capital for those who live here and for those visiting.
“We need a range of toilets that reflect the incredible diversity of this city – giving people the confidence to move around London with dignity.”
The guidelines are only advisory for planners, however, many councils have adopted the ideas.
The Mayor’s plans also call for management, surveillance and cleaning procedures to be agreed at the planning stage. It also calls for the installation of free drinking fountains.
There are many businesses and public spaces that have already adopted gender-neutral facilities, the Barbican Centre, as well as Channel 4’s headquarters, have non-gendered toilet areas.