Toilet Block Design: Mumbai, India

Project Team​​

Mark. S. Fox
Lauren Howe
Amanda Persuad
Eashita Ratwani


Design Manual: Completed
The design manual for the physical
block and community development is completed and is being introduced within the Santa Cruz community.

Related Publications

Design Specification for Toilet Blocks

The Problem

Very few residences in the slums of Mumbai have private toilets. Existing toilet blocks are shared with more than 1000 residents. This situation not only presents maintenance and sanitation issues, but results in a preference for open defecation.

Open defecation is a serious sanitation problem that causes viral outbreaks within communities. It is estimated that over 1.5 million children die each year of diarhhea directly related to open defecation.


Design toilet blocks that will provide improved sanitation, that are easy to maintain and that will appeal to residents as a preferred alternative to open defecation.

Methodology & Expected Outcomes

We began this project by reviewing all government, NGO and community built and/or maintained toilet blocks within the Mumbai communities of Dharavi and Santa Cruz.

We took this approach in order to identify the design rules that would result in toilet blocks that will be favored and used by residents predisposed to open defecation.

Project Participants

This project is a University of Toronto Capstone fourth year student project, in cooperation with the following participants:
  • Centre for Social Services Engineering
  • Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Dept, U of Toronto
  • ​Biopoulos, Budapest
  • G North Ward - Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
  • Triratna Prirana Mandal Facility Management, Santa Cruz