19 November to 3 December, 2013
The world needs a new toilet.
Every person in the UK flushes 50 litres of drinking water down the toilet every day. In the rest of the world, 2.5 billion people are left without any access to sanitation at all, resulting in millions of preventable deaths, particularly amongst children. As water shortages and drought become more common, it is time to rethink our reliance on water-based sanitation. What are the alternatives?
Launching on World Toilet Day, 19 November, UCL is pleased to open its two-week UCLoo Festival, dedicated to opening up questions about the future of sanitation.
Toilets and sanitation are today much more visible on the global agenda thanks in part to the United Nation’s Millenium Development Goals which set the target of halving by 2015 the number of people without basic sanitation. To support this target, the UN this year marked 19 November, World Toilet Day.
Yet concern about the global sanitation crisis still focuses almost exclusively on what is happening ‘out there’ in the Global South, in Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. What about the Global North, which relies on systems that have not been seriously revisited for 150 years?
The organizers of UCLoo Festival believes is only by looking at sanitation cross-culturally and globally that we may come to consider our own “flush and forget” mentality more critically. Toilets should not be taken for granted. Far from being too unimportant to discuss, few technologies do more to create healthy, equitable, and sustainable cities.
UCL has long been a leader in promoting sanitation research and debate. Between 1879 and 1883, UCL’s Main Building was host to the Parkes Museum, a public museum devoted to hygiene, which featured a large display of over 30 toilets.
UCLoo Festival promises to bring UCL’s pioneering efforts to showcase sanitation technologies into the 21st century with a new emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Participants in our festival were part of the toilet revolution. They were able to:
- Try out our ecological public toilet in the North Observatory, UCL Main Quadrangle
- Visit our toilet-themed exhibition in the North Lodge, UCL Main Quadrangle and see innovative prototype toilets
- Attend a lecture on global sanitation from Rose George, author of The Big Necessity
- Take a custom-designed Bloomsbury Loo tours with expert Rachel Ericksen
- See a screening of toilet-related short films
- Design a new toilet at UCL Institute of Making’s make-a-thon
- Plus many more great events!
For more event details and to book your place at any of our free events, please view the programme.