The convenience capital – Melbourne versus Sydney

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Yooralla

It’s a rivalry dating from before federation - Melbourne versus Sydney. Which is the superior city?

Who has the best public transport, tourist attractions and nightlife? When Melbournians and Sydneysiders cross paths, it’s on these issues that they champion their city as the greatest.

It’s time to put an end to this silly competition. Clearly it matters not which city has the best stadiums, cafes, or restaurants - none of these are the measure of a city. Clearly, what matters, I submit, and what is the ultimate yard-stick of urban evolution is … the accessibility of your city’s toilets!

Therefore, in honour of World Toilet Day, we’re going to settle this once and for all. Hold onto your toilet seat - we’re going to flush out the truth on toilets by crunching the numbers from the National Public Toilet database.

Which city is the convenience capital?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides a nice list of the postcodes within greater metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney.

Cross referencing with the toilet data, we see that there are 1794 public toilets in Melbourne and 2673 in Sydney.

93 percent (1667) of those in Melbourne and 95 percent (2540) in Sydney are listed as accessible.

Ok, ok. But Sydney has a bigger population, doesn’t it? According to the ABS, Sydney has a population of about 4.85 million and Melbourne has 4.44 million. That’s 1909 per accessible toilet in Sydney and 2663 per accessible toilet in Melbourne.

Sure. Sydney might be leading on that front. However, if we breakdown the data further, Sydney’s dark secret becomes clear. Accessible public toilets can be in the male or female toilets or be separate and unisex.

Well, well, well. It seems Sydney has a four toilet bias towards female accessible toilets, while Melbourne only has a one toilet bias towards male accessible toilets.

This means that Melbourne wins on accessibility equality, and in my book, that’s all that counts.



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