Reinvention incorporates all possibilities including conservation, alteration, replacement, retrofitting, reconstruction and redevelopment of the living environment.

‘Reinventing Dharavi: An Ideas Competition’ is about generating essentially new ideas, concepts and interventions for integration of urban uses – affordable housing, livelihoods, health and sanitation, recreation, education, urban design and urban planning, social and cultural activities, environment, governance, economics, amongst others in a sustainable manner.

Dharavi is well-established as one of the world's most significant communities requiring a critical re-imagination for a better future. We seek to revisit Dharavi through adaptable and multidisciplinary approaches. Furthermore, the competition aims at exploring strategies for achieving affordability through innovative approaches for governance, management and maintenance.

This competition encourages an exchange of approaches (national and international) as well as novel and creative project ideas to enhance the existing qualities and enhanced future potentials of this site. The competition outcomes are to suggest, and express, an array of strategies considered through a range of time structures – from short term to long term, transitory to permanent or staged development cycles.

Open Ideas Competition
The objective is to initiate an on-going dialogue on the critical issues and spread the ideas contributed by the participants, world-wide among the concerned authorities, organisations and peoples. With open access it will be possible to influence the future directions towards our cherished aims. The competition being an open ideas competition there is no guarantee of any project or programme work in Dharavi.

This competition has been approved by International Association for Humane Habitat.


Home to more than a third of a million people, Dharavi occupies a central location in Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India. Many are second-generation residents, whose parents moved in decades ago and have remained there since. Today's Dharavi bears no resemblance to the fishing village it once was. A city within a city, it is a thriving and vibrant community surviving in conditions of abysmal infrastructure.

Dharavi also has a large number of successful small-scale industries that produce embroidered garments, export quality leather goods, pottery and plastic articles. Most of these products are made in tiny manufacturing units spread across the community and are sold in domestic as well as international markets. The annual turnover of business here is estimated to be more than $650m (Rs. 4,000 crores) a year (Source:

The changing economic geography of Mumbai has created new opportunities for Dharavi ushering in contesting expectations, opportunities and vulnerabilities. How can Dharavi be reinvented, to produce genuine welfare outcomes, for its citizens amidst these conflicting pressures?