The Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market, originally known as Sir Arthur Crawford Market covers an area of 2.25 hectares and incorporates the main building which is a Grade I structure in the heritage list. At present the Market activities include wholesale and retail outlets dealing in fruits, vegetables and fish apart from a variety of consumer items like toys, trunks, leather goods, footwear etc.
In 1994, upon the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai initiated the idea to host a competition to generate ideas which would form the basis for preparation of urban design guidelines to re-organise the market while conserving its architectural heritage. These guidelines and ideas would accompany the lease conditions when the plot was auctioned for development as was planned. The competition was organized by UDRI with funding provided by Tata Housing Ltd.
The competition programme was based on the proposed shifting of the wholesale activities from the Market precinct and the removal of old sheds. The available 1.33 F.S.I. (Floor space index) was to be used in construction of new structures, which would incorporate shopping malls, shopping centres, stores, small shops and related facilities and utilities. The programme envisaged overall improvement of the urban environment with adequate parking facilities, traffic management and other recommendations.
The objectives of the competition were as follows:
To obtain urban design concepts for conservation and re-development of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market Campus.
To guide the development in harmony with the architectural character of the Market and regain the lost urban space within the precinct.
To develop the built-form to accommodate the new functions stipulated in the programme in a manner, which reinforces the quality of historic market.
To improve traffic conditions in and around the Market.