Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - May 25, 2001

City Study Circle

Forum for town planning

May 25, 2001

On the 25th of May 20 people joined at the SAWCHU building.

  • What goes into making a townplan;

  • how to approach the planning process;

  • what is the background work and preparations required?

To illustrate some broad aspects of the planning process Lalit made a presentation of the plan of Mayapur. He had himself, with a team of 20 people including senior planners and architects, in consultation with leading experts from India and abroad, worked out the plan over a period of two years.

Mayapur is promoted by ISKCON as their world headquarter. Its location is 120 km north of Calcutta. At its centre, the town will have a temple that is to be 'the biggest religious structure in the world'. Most work in the town will be related to the temple. The brief given by the client wanted the town initially be planned for a residential population of 50.000 within an area of 656 acres and anticipating a visiting population of 100.000 per day.

The broad project brief led to studies and research in two specific areas.


1) Town form and structure

  • (Land use, activities, local economy and employment, town layout, urban design guidelines, architecture, infrastructure etc).

  • An approach strategy/diagram (framework) was prepared to devise the activity structure.

  • A parallel process started to prepare for the baseline studies of and around the site, related case studies, literature review for standard formulation etc.

  • Land potential exercise was carried out.

  • Based on the temple's intake capacity, calculations where made to find out generation of jobs (in town and outside to support all related facilities), and assuming a ratio of working population (30%) the figure for the total population was arrived (32.000).

  • Based on the desired density, a pattern area was worked out to house these many people. It was made clear to the client that it is not possible to house 32.000 people in the available 656 acres. A figure of 13.000 people was agreed as the final residential population.

  • Nature and scale of activities and facilities were worked out to support the anticipated residential and visiting population.

  • Details of urban design guidelines/code, major town squares, housing samples, catalogue of vernacular elements were provided.

  • Infrastructure Phasing.

  • Sustainability related studies...

2) Regional development study

  • (Transportation, urbanisation, regional economy and employment, flow of goods and services)...

  • Identification of 10 villages for pilot projects (out of 350) based on the following set of parameters: - Settlement patterns.- Studies of amenities.- Regional agriculture.- Regional industrial base.- National, regional and local level linkages.

In the project brief one could also read the following:

  • Housing, facilities, and workplaces will be located near to each other so that the distance people need to travel are minimised...

  • Walking and cycling are efficient, good for health, and minimal in their social and environmental impacts. Good routes for pedestrians, cyclists etc., will be provided throughout the settlement, with natural shade along these routes to make them pleasant to use in all the seasons...

  • Good public transport will be provided...

  • Neigbourhoods will be totally car free..

In spite of the great differences beween Mayapur and Auroville, the primary planning process is similar, demanding a clear brief by the 'client', and a proper planning office with necessary funding to make sensitive research into the background of the city plan.


for the Study Circle team

Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - May 25, 2001