The Galaxy plan
Centre, Zones and Green Belt
The central theme of living in and working for an actual human unity is symbolised by the fact that various zones of the township radiate outwards from a central point: the Matrimandir in the Peace Area, where there is also the central Banyan tree and the Amphitheatre with its urn, housing the soil of nations from all over the world.
The Mother was very practical and had a strong sense of order. She wanted each thing to be in its place and envisaged four zones in her dream city. Zoning was still very much in fashion in the sixties, but is currently largely out of favour with town-planners all over the world. Naturally, opinions differ on the matter in Auroville as well, but efforts are ongoing to comply with the original idea in a wholesome way. These zones - the cultural, residential, international and industrial - could possibly be seen as areas where a particular type of atmosphere would be created and nurtured. Zoning may be the way by which these atmospheres - or vibrations - can be protected.
As per the original concept then, the activities of the Cultural Zone represent unending education; those of the International Zone show acceptance of Auroville's universality; those of the Industrial Zone emphasise the importance of a strong economic base; those of the Residential Zone the realisation of human oneness; those of the Green Belt the manifestation of environmental, economic and spiritual values as well as material sustainability.
More in particular, this means:
For the 167-hectare Residential Zone, development
will be primarily limited to residential community buildings, community
meeting spaces, crèches and lower age group educational needs, work
studios, first aid centres, parks, playgrounds, landscaping elements,
eco-friendly parking areas, kiosks and convenience stores, with the
additional possibility of small handicraft ateliers.
For the 69-hectare International Zone, primary development will be limited to national and international cultural pavilions, conference and exhibition halls, communication centres, visitor information centres, parks and green areas, playgrounds, hostels, guest houses, restaurants, kiosks and convenience stores, with the further possibility of medical centres, public transport facilities and some staff quarters.
The adjacent Crown Road area will be used for shopping arcades, restaurants, guest houses, hostels, dwellings and staff quarters, indoor recreation facilities, banking and financial services, parks and green areas.
For the 145-hectare Industrial Zone, primary development in the 'economic area' will be limited to manufacturing services and other non-polluting industries, professional consultancy offices, retail and wholesale distribution outlets, vehicle parking, industrial display areas, R&D staff quarters, related welfare facilities, parks and playgrounds, plus a crèche, canteen, rest rooms, kiosks and convenience stores. In the 'administrative area' there will be a town hall and city level admin offices, and in the 'vocational & research area' there will be vocational training centres and related laboratories.
The adjacent Crown Road area will be devoted to hostels, dwellings and guest houses, post and communication centres, retail stores and zonal level medical facilities.
For the 103-hectare Cultural Zone, primary development will be limited to institutions and research centres related to education, arts and sport, city level cultural uses including auditoriums and exhibition halls, parks and playgrounds, green areas, kiosks and convenience stores. There will also be the possibility of major transport related infrastructure, a stadium and large spaces with sports facilities.
The adjacent Crown Road area will be used for the same range of development as in the Residential Zone
Lastly, for the 1,472-hectare Green Belt Zone, primary land use will be for agriculture (specially organic) and rural development activities applicable to developing countries, specially to Tamil Nadu; facilities for education and research, including applied research in all areas of sustainable integrated rural development, including energy farms, water and waste management stations; traffic and transportation; forests, dairies, fruit orchards and horticultural centres; poultry and agricultural food production; and botanical gardens, gene pools, sanctuaries and bio-reserves. There will be active co-development and partnership with the village settlements located in this area, in the fields of reforestation and restoration of the tropical indigenous forest, and water management and ground water recharging. In the 'utility zone' of the Green Belt there will also be staff quarters, and public services and utilities.
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