A comparative study on the legislation of standards for accessible public toilets of the United Kingdom and Hong Kong

Kin Wai Michael Siu, J. Lu, W.Y. Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Toilet is one of the most important constructed environments for human beings. However, as commented by the United Nations, whether this important space for sanitation is accessible for all is a critical issue for modern society. In recent years, to promote and implement equal opportunity, accessible public toilet has become a more common facility in modern cities. More countries and individual cities have also established their specific ordinances, regulations, codes of practice and guidelines for accessible public toilets. However, whether the quality of accessible public toilets meets the needs and preferences of users with different capabilities is still a question. Disregarding its success in economic development, Hong Kong is a city that is constantly being criticised by local residents and visitors alike about the quality of its public toilets. Persons with disabilities also always complain about the unavailability and inaccessibility of public toilets. A study on accessible public toilets has been conducted in Hong Kong since 2009. The study aims to review and then improve the quality of accessible public toilets. One of the key areas of the study is to compare the legislation of standards for accessible public toilets in different places. Through a review of the legislation of standards of accessible public toilets in the United Kingdom — a country with well-developed legislation and standards for persons with disabilities to access toilets — and then a comparison with those of Hong Kong, this paper aims to generate inspirations for the improvement of the standards of accessible public toilets and in turn to promote equal opportunity for all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of the constructed environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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