||The Mother had been "dreaming" of a project like Auroville for quite a long time.
It was only in 1965 that she began to work actively on it.
A French architect was given the responsibility of preparing the lay-out, and
he worked on it with his colleagues in Paris.
The purchase of land started.
At that time, those interested in the project
were staying mainly
inauguration took place
on 28th February 1968,
with a formal ceremony
around an Urn, into which
was placed the Auroville Charter and earth from all over India and the
world as a symbol of national and human unity.
As the pioneers arrived, they established
themselves on the outskirts of the future township of
Auroville, in settlements named Promesse, Hope,
Forecomers and Aspiration.
For several years no permanent construction was
authorized on the site of the future town, except for the
Matrimandir and the Bharat Nivas (the Pavilion of
India), the construction of which started in 1971.
The development of the project was first
concentrated in the settlement of Aspiration, then in
Auromodèle, an area earmarked for experimentation,
near the Tamil village of Kuilapalayam, in order to
make a concrete attempt at learning how to live in
Auroville and in the Green Belt, an area of forest and
farms which is to surround the future town.
In 1974 there were already 322 Aurovilians. With
an average yearly growth of 4 % in the seventies, of
5 % in the eighties and of 8% in the nineties, the number
of Aurovilians reached 1808 by the end of August 2004.
With the present trend of growth, Auroville may
reach its full dimension, that is 50.000 inhabitants
within 30 years.
Out of roughly 90 settlements, only 7 of them
include row-houses or appartments (in the City area:
Creativity, Grace, Vikas, Arati, Surrender, Invocation, Prarthna
and one in Auromodele area). The rest comprises
individual houses which range from the hut-type
residence to decent villas.
30% of Aurovilians live in the area of
Aspiration/Auromodele, 40% live within the town area,
and the rest are scattered in the Green Belt, in farms or
in beach communities.
Schools for Aurovilians are found in three places,
Centre Field (near Matrimandir Gardens), Transition
and Aspiration (Last School).
Three national pavilions are are found in the International Zone: the
Indian pavilion called Bharat Nivas, the Pavilion
for Tibetan Culture and the Unity Pavilion.
More than 100 commercial units, mainly doing
handicrafts, are widely scattered over the area, with a
higher concentration in the Industrial Zone.