On the 7th of December we gathered
at the SAWCHU building. Those who attend the meetings vary a
little from time to time and today they were: Alan, Annemarie,
David, Felix, Gundolf, Helmut, Peter A., Ralph, Supriti,
Our discussion continued with trying
to pin down the starting point of our urban design exercise. As
this is a team exercise, naturally there are different views!
But the only way for people to get together is for them to
plunge into a common creative process.
The design project will obviously have
several phases. It will grow in layers. In the end it should be
a proposal for actual planning. The starting point, however,
ought to be some kind of blank sheet that will keep the process
open and flexible. Even so, soon some general parameters should
The idea of the exercise is not to
make a design of the entire city, although some elements that
belong to the big picture can be included, as for instance the
impact of the overall transport system on an area. Generally
speaking, the exercise is rather meant as a visualisation of
what content we would like to give to our living environment,
and for that purpose only a section would be sufficient as an
The parameters that will ensue may
deal with questions such as:
What kind of life qualities do we
How are we matching our ideas against the demand for
What about mobility, or the relation between work and living
etc. in a city of Auroville's size, climate, with its cultural
diversity, experimental economy?
How will our city-planning respond to those things if it aims
to any degree of overall integration?
And how does the phasing of this development look like since
the gradual growth of the city is one of the main challenges?
In order to make it easier for
ourselves we decided to define one element at a time of what
constitutes a city environment. By taking it apart in pieces the
individual elements may become more visible. Looking at the
total environment at one time seems at this moment a less
'The street' was selected as the first
What purpose does a street serve, what makes streets different?
Is it a through-road for traffic? Is it a public place in a
neighbourhood? Or shall we rather speak about the 'spaces
between buildings' since this is the second half of a city? A
room or space is as important as the buildings because the
moving life activities that connect people and buildings take
place there, or fail to take place there, depending on several
How are we to work with these spaces?