Signs from the Street

Catalogue essay for the exhibition on street art presented by the Dominican Republic Embassy in India held between April 5th to May 5th 2023, at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. 

Aqua Civica

A community-led water supply project as a device to upgrade urban citizenship

On urban and ecological memories: What makes a Koliwada?

Navigating down Mithi River's intricacies between landscape and identity in Dharavi Koliwada, where urban and ecological memories contest homogenizing narratives and challenge the city’s accessibility and sustainability.


NYU AD students explore a user-driven website to establish new communication channels among locals, visitors, entrepreneurs and civic institutions.


Dharavi Koliwada Pipeline Project

NYU Abu Dhabi students collaborate with the Koli community and the urbz team to address water supply and drainage for Dharavi-Koliwada.


Handstorming in Dharavi Continues

NYU Abu Dhabi students are back in Dharavi, this time for more in-depth interactions with various community members of the neighbourhood.

The Golden Thread

One among the many ways of watching Nishtha Jain’s exquisite documentary, ‘The Golden Thread’ (2022), is by following the imagination of urbanist Patrick Geddes.

Inside-Out | The Case of Vithoba Ganpat Chawl

Looking back at one of the redeveloped chawls in Dharavi, we share the experiences of the people living in a space where staying inside gives the experience of being on the outside - thanks to special features such as the building’s location, orientation, ventilation, and natural lighting. 


Diverse Aspirations - The Case of Jairam Sheth Chawl

The article reflects on the lifestyles and aspirations of the residents of Jairam Sheth Chawl, in Dharavi Koliwada, Mumbai, and recognizes the contradictions in the type of homes they aspire to inhabit and the experiences and relationships they want to take forward from their current homes. 

Events and Action: The Red Cross Park, Geneva

Over six months, several events were planned for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Geneva. The process promotes discussion, brainstorming, ideas and aspirations of the IFRC staff members, and their neighbours for the future park. 

A Participatory Park for the Red Cross

urbz is leading a participatory landscaping process for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) through a series of workshops, walks, talks and exhibition. The end result will be a publicly accessible IFRC Park in the center of Geneva. 

Homes, Models and Materials

Artisans collaborate with contractors, residents and the urbz team, to create models in wood, clay, steel, acrylic and brass to produce model homes in Sangam Gully, Dharavi, Mumbai, as part of the Homegrown Street Project.

The Economics of Transport Choices

As part of the C40 Cities Women4Climate Gendered Mobility in Climate Action research project, this blog post attempts to explore the economic impacts and implications of gendered mobility.

In and around the commuting life in Mumbai

This blog post discusses the the commute and the responisibilities surrounding it from a gendered persepctive as a part of the Gendered Mobility and Climate Action research. 

Mumbai's Last Mile Challenge

This blog post highlights key challenges faced by women commuters drawing from the interviews taken as a part of Gendered Mobility and Climate Action research. 

From the Commuters of Mumbai

This blog post summarizes the everyday journeys taken in Mumbai and the workshop conducted as a part of Gendered, Mobility and Climate Action research. 

What’s in a game?

This post examines game methodology as a potential method for qualitative data collection to understand the subconscious behaviour of a commuter and the various factors influencing it, continuing our explorations of various data collection techniques as part of our research on Gendered Mobility and Climate Action.


Quantify or Qualify?

This post reflects on the methodological challenges faced in our ongoing research on Gendered Mobility and Climate Action.

Is Climate Change Man Made?

The second blog in the series on Gendered Mobility and Climate Action discusses the methodology and approach we used to conduct the research.

Legitimising the Self-Built

On how self-built structures in cities claim legitimacy bit by bit - A comparison between Mumbai and Philadelphia

Marginality, Climate Crisis, and the Right to the City: The future of participatory urbanism in the US

In a global context, populations marginalized because of race, class, gender, creed, etc. are those most incessantly stripped of this right to design the city in their own image within formalized constraints. In this way, the “informal” urban process of self-construction is inherently a product of this same marginality that excludes these groups from “formalized” city-making.

Comunidades: Foundations for a Sustainable Habitat?

This post provides a historical overview to further understand Goa’s complex rural-urban systems. The aim of this series is to develop a vision for its future that builds on a close reading of its past and engaging actively with its present.

Khotachiwadi Calling

urbz would like to invite everyone who is interested in learning about and taking action to address the current situation in Khotachiwadi. We will go over the previous studies and reports once more and speak about how we can take simple measures to reconsider the recommendations made in prior reports, as well as fresh recommendations from residents and experts.

Men of Steel

A look into the collective intelligence of Khetwadi’s steel artisans.

Beyond the Urban-Rural Binary: France, Italy and Goa

This is the second part of the Goa- Beyond the Urban-Rural Binary which explores how Goa represents a distinctive pattern of urbanization, representing the coevolution of its countryside and urban centres.

The View Out

Metal enclosures within Homegrown Developments of Dharavi

3 X 3

Understanding spatial optimization for commercial spaces in homegrown neighborhoods.

The Way Up

Vertical Accessibility within Homegrown Developments of Dharavi

Goa - Beyond the Urban-Rural Binary

The first of two posts looking at how Goa represents a distinctive pattern of urbanization, representing a coevolution of its countryside and urban centers.

Tokyo - Mess is More

Long dismissed as an urban mess, a weird by-product of Japan’s fantastic rise to economic prominence in the postwar period, Tokyo is gaining renewed attention as a model of urban development and management.

India and Jugaad: The Design Comes As We Build

This essay discusses urbz' "The Design Comes As We Build" project which recognizes local builders in homegrown settlements by providing them a space to showcase their design imagination. You can access it here

The Making of Leather Goods

In the second part of this series, we explore two leather workshops near the 90 feet road in Dharavi, to understand where and how all processes in the creation of leather products are carried out.

Hyperlocal: Travelling without moving

This text explores some reflections Andreas Ruby started to develop when participating in the workshop "Limites x Limites", organised by Aidec and ConstructLab, which questioned the uses and design of a future park in Geneva's iconic neighbourhood "Jonction".

A day's work at Kumbharwada

In a new series, we re-explore the homegrown streets of Dharavi in search of local arts and crafts. First in the series- Dharavi's famous Kumbharwada

Creating Everyday Environments

In conclusion to the study on placemaking in urban villages, we speculate some possible interventions that could enhance everyday environments.

Made in Dharavi : A digital scheme for SME’s

Digitalization can transform how SMEs operate in Dharavi. Made in Dharavi is a digital application that will support small-scale businesses in Dharavi to make them locally productive and globally connected.

A Shared Vision for the ICRC in Geneva

urbz is working with the employees, directorate and assembly of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Museum to imagine the future of their HQ

Cool City Sécheron

An ongoing project on the ecological transition and how it can foster quality public spaces

Local economies and digitalization

SMEs are the key drivers of economic growth in the country and they need to start selling online in order to scale up and receive the true wage and value for their products. This presents a unique opportunity for local businesses in Dharavi to tap into the digital market to sell their products and grow with the existing social and business community.


'2=20' is the compiled graphic story of the Vithal Bhaskar Chawl series. It takes you through a journey from the history
of the chawl to its redevelopment. 

Epilogue : Vibrant Neighborhoods

We have come to an end with our series on Makers of Homegrown cities and the Vithal Bhaskar graphic novel. This post presents one finale to both.

Homegrown settlements of Cape Town

In this article, we travel to Cape Town in the western capes of South Africa. The homegrown settlements in Cape town have emerged from occupations of underutilized buildings and vacant lands in peripheries of the city. ‘Occupations’ in Cape Town act as points of contact and interaction between homegrown communities, grassroots housing movements, and the city’s planning institutions.

New Horizons

 How can social and digital empowerment fuel positive growth for Dharavi's SMEs?

Dharavi works

Dharavi works is a series of projects designed in Mumbai by urbz in partnership with local inhabitants and contractors.

ICRC Campus

urbz is working on a comprehensive plan for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) HQ in Geneva. About 1200 people work in Geneva and another 20,000 work in over 100 conflict zones around the world

The IFRC Park will be open to the public


The urbz team is working with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC) in Geneva on a participatory landscape design involving staff, neighbors and partners.

Gendered Mobility and Climate Action

This project is undertaken under the C40 Women For Climate mentorship program, Mumbai in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra. The Mentee, Vidisha Dhar, is supported by Lubaina Rangwala (WRI), urbz

urbz Goa

urbz has been engaged in Goa for over a decade through our office in Aldona. Our work in Goa is mostly centred around research on various aspects of Goa's urbanism that challenge the urban-rural binary. In the

Participatory process Onex-Centre

urbz is working with the Municipality of Onex in Geneva, putting together a participatory process to evaluate and contribute to a master plan aiming at improving the quality of life, providing new housing and

Covid-19 in Dharavi

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 urbz has been researching its effect on the people of Dharavi. 

Project Étoile

urbz has been mandated by the State of Geneva to develop a concept and program that integrates living, working and culture for a 60,000 m2 mixed used development in the city’s new downtown.

Handstorm in Dharavi

Our annual Handstorm workshops in Dharavi with the "Engineers for Social Impact" from NYU Abu Dhabi generate incremental innovations that improve the quality of life in this massive settlement

Urban Typhoon Kochi, June 4-9, 2019

June 4-9, 2019

The Urban Typhoon workshop in Kochi is open to all citizens and visitors interested in working in urban areas and are willing to engage with communities participation. Together we will explore


urbz is carrying a 18 month long participatory process to redefine the two largest public squares in Lausanne (Switzerland). / urbz conduit une démarche participative de 18 mois visant à réimaginer les deux

Koliwada Charcha

The exhibition Koliwada Charcha is an attempt at understanding the essence of Dharavi Koliwada's architectural and visual language. 


Public consultation for a densification project in Geneva / Démarche de concertation pour un projet de densification au Petit-Saconnex, Genève.

Circulatory Urbanism

For the past 5 years, urbz has been following families who's lives are spread between Mumbai and their ancestral villages in the Konkan (Western India).

pots in kumbharwada

Make in Dharavi

This series of interviews portrays the economic life of Dharavi in Mumbai through the activities of its inhabitants.

Delta V

Project de quartier participatif à Versoix, Genève (09.2017 - 02.2019)
Participation planning project in Geneva, Switzerland.

Proyecto Manila

Building a Community center by understanding social dynamics and participatory planning in a homegrown neighborhood in Bogota

Ecoparc Meyrin

Concertation pour faire émerger un nouveau concept d’EcoParc pour la zone industrielle de Meyrin.


Generating new models for participatory development for Ulleung island in South Korea


urbz has been involved with the heritage precinct of Khotachiwadi for nearly a decade. We have organized many events workshops there and produced a strategic plan for the area among other things.

Mashup workshops

The mashup workshops take many different forms and happen in all kinds of places. They take specific neighbourhoods as sources of inspiration and unleash a maximum of creativity onto them!

Homegrown cities

This experiment in affordable housing led to the co-designing and construction of a small house in Shivaji Nagar, in Govandi. A neighbourhood in Mumbai that is struggling against all odds to keep growing and

The Design Comes as We Build

urbz invited local builders from Dharavi to design the best possible house they could imagine. These designs were translated into physical models by artisans. 

Homegrown Things

We produced everyday-life objects based on the specific needs of residents and the skills available in the Shivaji Nagar area in Mumbai.

Cultura Fertilis

Étude d’opportunité pour un équipement culture d'importance majeur à future place de l'Étoie (PAV).
Opportunity study for a major cultural center in the planned neighbourhood of PAV in Geneva.

Place, Work, Folk

Place, Work, Folk is a fortnightly column in The Hindu Sunday Magazine by Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava, which is inspired by Patrick Geddes and analyzes current urban issues in India and beyond.

Bareilly Street

Studies, workshops, street exhibition and plans towards making a small square in Dharavi children friendly

Vers des chantier furtifs

Enquête de terrain pour améliorer l’expérience des usagers durant les travaux de construction en ville, avec COLAS SA et le laboratoire de sociologie urbaine (LaSUR), EPFL.
Field research on how to improve the

Breaking Ground

Stratégies pour la densification participatives et graduelle des zones villas à Genève.
Strategies for the incremental and participatory densification of residential suburbs in Geneva.


urbz est un collectif spécialisé dans la programmation urbaine et la gouvernance participative.

Urban Typhoon

Urban Typhoon is a 5 days long workshop taking place working with local associations to generate programmes and plans for the improvement or preservation of neighbourhoods.