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The Drive-In Sex Box
A Swiss innovation in urban planning and design.

The Swiss are known for a few things—utility knives, chocolate, cuckoo clocks, and they are reputedly most creative when it comes to income tax. They also like peace and cleanliness and profess a devout efficiency when it comes to running a country. To solve the problem of open prostitution in Zurich, police chief Daniel Leupi is proposing the idea of drive-in sex boxes, which are already in use in German cities such as Essen and Cologne. Apparently prostitution levels are so high in Zurich that some drivers just pull over at a parking meter and leave the car running while they do the deed.

The sex boxes don’t boast the prettiest design, more like a cross between a parking spot and an animal enclosure, with three sides of green metal fencing at approximately ten feet in height. Just pull in and get on with it, away from the prying eyes of local residents around Zurich’s red light districts, who are up in arms about their housing prices and the nuisances they must endure on a daily basis. Prostitution is legal in Switzerland and pulls in more than $2.6 billion in revenue.

Canada’s now in the midst of its own debate on the decriminalization of prostitution, and one local councillor has already floated the idea of a red light district on the Toronto islands. If things go the way of liberalization, we might also find ourselves contemplating specially configured urban spaces like the sex box. Let’s hope that we can at least come up with a better design than a green metal loading bay. (Isn’t this the country that invented Helvetica and fine timepieces?) We could fashion them from Canadian cedar and put on a roof to account for the colder months. Then again, that just sounds like a cabin…

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