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Playground with a Purpose

Bringing out the creative and intellectual component of children of Dharavi, Mumbai while protecting them from natural disasters.

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Our idea is to build a rooftop playground in Dharavi on top of a structurally sound building to provide a safe place for kids and others to play. Designing the structures on top of a platform will also help avoid destruction from floods. The PlayRoof will be covered to shelter the equipment and kids from the weather. For safety, we will add plastic walls or a plastic fence around the side of structure. In the daily life of a child living in the slum of Dharavi, they aren’t free to express themselves. Using imaginative playground equipment will allow children to construct and to make their own playing areas and adding a common area for teens and parents will help the social interaction for people who live in the slum. Another part of our idea is making the PlayRoof stand out. It is important that the PlayRoof looks exquisite so that the people living in high rise homes are seeing that slum dwellers are serious about their community and would like to be acknowledged and aided in becoming a peaceful slum. By creating a safe place for children and others to play, this will help decrease illness, increase health through exercise and create a fun activity for a poor community. The PlayRoof will help bring the Dharavi slum together as a whole, and give children a place to become innovators and have fun, while allowing adults to be able to learn about each other on a personal level, and most importantly it would beautify the slum.


The benefits of this exquisite playground will be to fulfill everybody's need of fitness, pleasure, and help kids become innovators. The playground will also turn on the right hemisphere, the creative side of the brain, and is responsible for rhythm, spatial awareness, imagination, by allowing kids to create their own playing areas using imaginative playground structuring. This playground will benefit everyone in the slum by providing elevated shelter during natural disasters.


Climate change is becoming a big problem in our world. Climate change due to the greenhouse gas “blanket” is making our world warmer which leads to the melting of icebergs in oceans. Icebergs melting increases the oceans sea level, which in turn, will soon cause flooding of the Mahim Bay, which is next to Dharavi. The Playroof idea takes into account the climate change because it is located on a roof of a building. Kids will be able to stay there and meet with family member or friends during a flood or higher sea levels. Oceans rising and the increasing risk of flooding puts families in the slums at risk of having their homes damaged and reducing the areas they can live and play. Climate change also increases the temperature which we will have to take into consideration so the plastic Playroof does not melt. I have researched the melting points of multiple plastic and came up with the following data: PVC melts at approximately 175 degrees Celsius (347 degrees Fahrenheit). Different types of HDPE have a melting point range between 130 and 146 degrees Celsius (266 and 295 degrees Fahrenheit). Plastic is one of the materials that do not melt easily in the sun. There are many recycled plastics in Dharavi and we would use the recycled plastics with the highest resistance to heat. The higher elevation of the Playroof will catch any breezes off the bay and help keep the play area cool. Even with climate change and the global warming of the earth this Playroof would still stay in tact even with the blaring sun.


  • Not yet


  • I do not have experience working in a sector related to my idea


  • Yes


We are four students at the Fessenden School in Massachusetts.


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