Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - April 5th, 2002

City Study Circle

Forum for town planning

April 5th, 2002

On the 5th of April Lalit, member of Auroville's Town planning team, was invited to share some information on the present work on the Detailed Master Plan.

Lalit explains

Asia Urbs is a funding opportunity coupled with technical assistance from various sources. The project entails many activities and one of them is the detailing of the Auroville Master Plan. Several other activities are also closely linked to the Master Plan and would provide a valuable input, such as for instance the Energy Plan, and the Water Management Study, - to name just a few.

Like all the projects, this too has a description of work to be done and the manpower required to carry out these tasks. One senior and one junior town planner have been assigned to carry out the related activities and Mr. Dattatri and Lalit have
taken up these tasks. Anupama is the in-house in-charge responsible person for
the delivery of the final output.

Projected AV population

The detailing work is a next step in planning and is based on the Master Plan.
Broadly the Plan says that the projected population of 50.000 is expected to be
reached in 2025. In Phase One, that is now targeted, the projected population of
15,000 is to be reached by 2010.


The targets that have been set for the end of the two years grant period include the following areas:

  • Sector 1-2 Residential zone

  • Sector 1 Cultural zone

  • Sector 1 Industrial zone

  • Sector 1 International zone

  • City Center including the Crown with 5000 inhabitants (the area inside of the Crown)

  • One of the four Service Nodes

  • Land Use Plan for the Green Belt

  • Recommendation for a Housing Policy

  • Conceptual plan for the whole township

  • Planning proposals for areas outside of the township

  • Administration (Town hall)

  • and an Annual plan

Standards and zoning regulations

There are also other fields of importance such as water, energy, waste management, village development, environmental studies, GIS data base. The survey of all AV owned land within the city area has already been completed. Different standards have been collected from various national & international sources. Depending upon the standards there are different scenarios. These standards are zoning regulations that decide what spaces are allotted to different uses. In the Residential zone, for instance, the size in hectares of areas for dwellings, internal roads, open spaces and parks, crèches,
kindergartens, schools for the age 6-12, playgrounds, first aid centres, kiosks, convenient stores, parking etc.

More collaboration required

Lalit also presented the working order of the planning group with names of the
people who have taken up the different tasks within the Asia Urbs project. He
pointed out that the work is enormous and requested participation from the
interested and committed members of the community as this area touches all. He mentioned that Auroville has a large number of talented architects, qualified professionals and persons experienced in one or other townplanning related activities, and that it is very unfortunate that this energy has not been coming together in spite of the fact that we all are working for Auroville.

Ongoing work

To make a Detailed Plan for a place like Auroville asks for in-depth research, documentation, effective awareness, communication and participation from all. We have many areas listed out which could be taken up by interested people in our area of work.
The ongoing work includes the thorough analysis of the existing development
pattern like the area already used by the various communities and how much land
is remaining in each zone/sector and to make plans to house the remaining of
proposed densities.

It was also mentioned that some important baseline studies have already been completed, such as Solid Waste Management Study (by Australian experts), Mobility Concept (Non Polluting Transport Initiative by Mr. Ballinger, Germany).
Many AV services and groups are closely working with the Planning, providing their input at regular meetings and interaction is taking place. There is a growing and professional team at work. Many students are coming for training and research work, and new full time members are joining the team.

The Master Plan document is almost ready for distribution in the community.
Also an Internet version is getting ready for easier and wider access. GIS is an
area that is being developed fast and a comprehensive database is being created
for all the services and uses of Auroville.

Sustainability is the universal objective

Asked for the precise Aims and Objectives and how they are related to a deeper
sense of life quality, Lalit responded by saying that sustainability is the
universal objective. This area needs further elaboration and discussions and
approaches related to it. We need to study further to what degree real urban
design principles are present or absent in the present planning process.

With the Master plan as reference we will continue our debate and formulate
more exactly what is the real purpose of urban design and what issues it
addresses in creating the integrated, sustainable and progressive living
environment that we call 'the city'.

for the Study Circle team

Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - April 5th, 2002