Home > The City > Planning the Township > Centre for Urban Research

updated July '03

see also:
Town Hall

View from the downstairs office

Centre for Urban Research
The new Town Hall is finished

Backside of town hallWall detailEntranceMovingStill little things to do..A week before..



Russian translation












The new town hall is finished and ready to move in.. a few impressions to share..


During the township's first thirty-plus years, the residents of Auroville performed their various administrative tasks in a wide variety of places. Reports on developments, meetings and other such activities were often written by hand, or typed on cranky old typewriters in keet huts, community kitchens or somewhere outside. Community meetings were frequently held in the most unusual places, under Banyan trees, at sports grounds, on theatre stages, in school rooms, etc etc.. Thanks to the good graces of Bharat Nivas' management, who allowed the residents to make use of several unfinished buildings in their compound during the last ten years, the situation somewhat improved; though it remained still far from ideal, let alone efficient.

Admittedly, in the very early days the Auroville folks mainly worked the land, got acquainted with the local population and tried to put together some sort of basic infrastructure in support of their pioneering lifestyle. An organisational set-up was far, far from their minds…

Now, with Auroville's population steadily on the rise, the need for such a set-up is blatantly obvious and, in the general synchronicity of things, it's therefore not surprising that a first building for a future Town Hall complex is nearing completion:

First step towards an Auroville Town Hall

The materialisation of the Centre for Urban Research (Annex to the future Town Hall) became possible with the approval by the European Commission of a project held by Auroville's Future that aimed to create a well equipped centre for Auroville's town planning & development activities. The need for working in closer collaboration among the various Auroville working groups and services has always been felt by those active in the township's budding administration & development circles, and hence the idea of creating an even larger building emerged. Auroville's Financial Services joined immediately, being the ones in urgent need of an outlet in a central location of the town. Enabled through a generous donation from of Stichting de Zaaier, the Landfund and Project Coordination services joined in as well.


The construction of the building started in May 2001 in the administrative zone of Auroville, very close to Matrimandir. Intense meetings had to take place before the final design, size and future users were agreed upon. They resulted in the following:

  • The building has a covered surface of 1300 sqm plus 350 sqm of verandas distributed over 3 floors

  • At ground level there will be a conference room, equipped with the most advanced audiovisual facilities, with seating space for some 100 people

  • An area of 100 sqm will be used by the Auroville's Financial Services

  • On the first floor there will be the main offices of Auroville's Future's 'City Networking' and its administration, Land Fund, Abundance, Project Coordination, Development Council, Working Committee, and Housing Service, - with a large meeting room to be shared by all

  • On the second floor will be located facilities for planners, engineers, architects, surveyors and coordinators of various planning activities, as well as a multipurpose library for documentation & research on topics related to planning and development

At the time of writing, September 2002, the main structure of the building has been completed. Work is going on with the tiling of the floors and final painting. An innovative system to share the energy supply is being implemented, which will include the use of solar panels at a later stage. Studies are ongoing to have a hardware & communication network system in the entire building. The building will be equipped with a wastewater treatment unit which will be a demonstration unit of a new type developed by Auroville's consultants in water management.

Contact: aurofuture@auroville.org.in 

Home > The City > Planning the Township > Centre for Urban Research

  Auroville Universal Township webmaster@auroville.org.in To the top