Objectives of the Urban Typhoon Workshop

The Urban Typhoon workshop invites students of the city and urban practitioners from India and abroad to brainstorm on the future of Koliwada and, through it, of marginalized communities around the world.

Workshop participants will investigate the cultural identity of Koliwada in the metropolitan, national, and global context. Participants must have the workshop's “client” in mind: the community of Koliwada and other communities facing similar issues around the world.

The workshop will raise awareness among government officials and the general public about the importance of preserving the rich urban traditions of the communities in Dharavi. It also aims to demonstrate the political potential of cultural groups such as those active in Koliwada and Dharavi. Participants will produce a multimedia and multidisciplinary portrait of Dharavi's Koliwada as it stands today. Participants will explore questions such as: What are the differences between Koliwada and other neighborhoods of Dharavi? What are the connections between the historical street layouts of Dharavi and the traditional organization of urban space in Indian cities? What role do communities play in the history of urban activism in India?
In addition, the workshop will produce alternative proposals for the urban design of Koliwada and Dharavi. These proposals will be published online for public review. Participants will take into consideration the local character of the neighborhood, the interests of stakeholders, and the broader context of Mumbai. The workshop's outcome will help local community groups and progressive governments to elaborate new strategies, mobilize broad constituencies, and put participatory design and planning into practice.
Urban Typhoon is an experiment in global teamwork and participatory design. Workshop units are encouraged to integrate the residents of Koliwada into their research and work at all times. All units will introduce their work to the public during an all-night presentation on March 22, 2008. There will also be multiple opportunities for informal interactions among participants throughout the workshop, including dinners, residential stays, visits and get-togethers.