Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Mar 2nd, 2002

City Study Circle

Forum for town planning

March 2nd, 2002

On the 2nd of March '02 Mr. Sven Palmkvist, chief city planner of Halmstad, Sweden, gave an account of how a Master plan is prepared in Sweden.


Halmstad is a municipality with a population of 85.000 with 60.000 in the town proper. The plan for the city center dates back to 1619 and has remained intact since then. The town has a university with about 7000 students.

No detailed report will here be given on Sven's account of the working process in Sweden, since that would demand too much space. However, it can be briefly mentioned that out of the various criteria for the Master plan, environment is the most important. The Master plan is reviewed every 4th year, but the process of reviewing is naturally continuous throughout the mandate period. In the planning process many are involved, politicians, pressure groups, the public and officials.

  • The most important points of the Master plan are: Structure, Flexibility, Implementation in stages, Economy, Ecology, Further expansion.

  • In regard to movement the important points are: Structures on all levels, Principles for movement, Public transport, Pedestrian areas and cyclist routes, Parking.

  • The social master plan contains points such as: Schools, Hospitals, Elder care, Plan for disabled.

Don't know areas

Sven's experience was that once 10% is built of a project the rest will work itself out in a piecemeal manner. Consequently, he continued, "one can't expect that the entire original idea is realised. It is important that 'don't know' areas are included which, in time, may develop according to demand."

What kind of life quality do we want?

Concerning Auroville, Sven's primary question was: What kind of life quality do you want? He felt that we first of all should pay attention to our movement structure since that is the crucial issue. He proposed mixed land uses and vibrant urban meeting points in all zones. He felt that we should not construct multi-storied buildings since people in general don't want to live in them; he also observed that the sense of community that he appreciated in Auroville could be lost with a population above 20.000.
Sven was very impressed by Auroville and all the energy that goes into developing the township. He was deeply touched by the Dawnfire on the 28th as well.

Development plans & parameters

For our next session Lalit from the Planning group has been invited to speak about the development plans which he is evolving as a part of the Asia Urbs sponsored projects in Auroville.

The Study Circle's concerns are with the parameters for such development plans. For almost one year now, we have revolved our studies around different principles of the urban fabric and parameters that could be applied to different concepts of planning. The coming session is thought of as an open debate where we can match the outcome of our Study Circle discussions with the parameters that now are applied in designing development plans for Auroville.

for the Study Circle team

for the Study Circle team

Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Mar 2nd, 2002