Photo courtesy Fast Company
Photo courtesy Fast Company

In an effort to stop nocturnal urinators from damaging public infrastructure, Paris has invested in the Uritrottoir, which translates to "pavement urinal." Fast Company staffer Mark Wilson reports on this innovation from the industrial design studio Faltazi which is a two-layered box: the top fitted with a urinal trough and flowers growing in compost while compost is started in the bottom box, which features a portal leading to straw that is urinated on.

Here's how the boxes work:

Inside each box, an internet-connected sensor measures pee levels, and when the box needs its straw swapped out, an attendant is dispatched to pick up the waste and take it to a composting facility outside the city. (In theory, that compost is later used to feed the flowers up top.)

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