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[Newsmaker] Seoul’s riverside parks to have cleaner restrooms, more women’s toilets

View of a restroom installed by a riverside park in Seoul (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
View of a restroom installed by a riverside park in Seoul (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
Seoul will upgrade the restrooms at its riverside parks and install new ones over the next four years to make the parks more inviting for visitors.

The city government said Sunday that it will make investments starting this year to improve the ventilation of the restrooms at Seoul’s riverside parks and increase the number of toilets for women.

Some public restrooms at the parks have been criticized over the years for being run-down and unhygienic.

“As the number of visitors at riverside parks surge, the demand for restroom use has also increased,” said Hwang In-sik, head of the riverside parks management under the city government.

“We plan to make improvements to restrooms by the Han River under the premise that people can comfortably visit riverside parks when they are assured they can cleanly use restrooms there.”

Seoul envisions restrooms with better fans installed to improve air quality. The city government has made improvements to five restrooms already this year and plans to renovate a total of 44 restrooms by 2024.

The five that were given a makeover are in Mapo-gu, Gwangjin-gu and Seocho-gu.

The city government also plans to install 19 more restrooms through 2024 at traffic-heavy riverside parks throughout Seoul. The new women’s restrooms will have 1.5 times more toilets than men’s restrooms, the city said.

Seoul also plans to install separate sinks and mirrors outside restrooms to reduce wait time for users who only need to wash their hands.

At some riverside parks, which are vulnerable to frequent flooding, the city government said it will replace the existing restrooms with floating restrooms. Seoul plans to overhaul 15 such restrooms by next year and has already completed two in Yongsan-gu.

By Ko Jun-tae (