A Change of Plan

After realising that another team was doing Venice as well as us, my team decided to mix things up a little. We have changed our idea to creating a floating city version of slums. Most people instantly think of beautiful and positive places when they can pick anywhere in the whole world to study, so we thought it would be a nice change to focus on an area that has an entirely different way of life to our own. Not to mention, it should be a good bit easier than trying to emulate Venetian architecture…sheesh! In particular, I have been focusing on collecting information about the Dharavi Slums of Mumbai.


A look inside the ‘Biggest Slum in the India’-Dharavi


^google image search ‘aerial dharavi’ 

To get into the right frame of mind for creating our own take of the slums, I watched a few documentaries on youtube about the slums of Mumbai. First, a ‘Dispatches’ documentary following the lives of children living and working on the streets. This film reveals the brutal reality of life on the streets and in the slums of Mumbai, following the daily struggles of four young children to survive.’

YouTube. (2017). Dispatches: The Street Kids Of Mumbai (Documentary) – Real Stories. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUs88p8wtBM [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

Secondly, a documentary by Kevin McCloud ‘focused on the extreme day-to-day poverty endured by the local residents. Despite the hardships of life in the area, he discovers an extraordinary sense of spirit and community and reflects on the lessons Western cities could learn from its sustainable society.’

YouTube. (2017). Kevin McCloud: Slumming It (2010) – Ep1. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im0tHRs9Bng [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

The Stats

  • About 1 million people live within 1 square mile, making it the most densely populated area on planet earth
  • The average wage is between $1-2USD per day
  • Dharavi is the most productive slum in the world. It’s over a billion dollar industry
  • There is an average of 1 toilet per 1,450 people
  • 60% of the families have lived in Dharavi for 60+ years
  • The average life span is under 60 years old, due to disease and health concerns
  • The slum is divided into communities by religion, with 60% Hindu, 33% Muslim and 6% Christian and 1% other
  • Many businesses generate million dollar incomes (USD)
  • Only men are allowed to work in the factories
  • Rents here can be as low as 185 rupees ($4/£2.20) per month. As Dharavi is located between Mumbai’s two main suburban rail lines, most people find it convenient for work.

Images including aerial shots, maps, ideas for modelling and style can be found in the pinterest board below.




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