Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Nov 02, 2001

City Study Circle

Forum for town planning

November 16, 2001

On the 16th of November 11 people attended the session.

We continued to look at the list of performance criteria (a few of them were published in our previous report in AVNews no. 912). Some points emerged that helped us to approach the criteria: the need for concentrated development, the value of incremental growth, the importance of the public place and the challenge to define the Crown.

Some of comments on these points were:

Concentrated development

The scattered development we have in AV is a sign of inadequate communication. In order to develop in an integrated way. AV needs improved communication skills. Our motorbike culture is symptomatic of our lack of urban culture and pedestrian areas. The answer to this situation is to develop a more dense urban fabric starting from focal points, public spaces, and from there develop areas step by step. An ordered development of this kind is also necessary for responding to problems such as traffic and safety.

Incremental growth

Monolithic development may have certain aesthetic qualities as an art form viewed at some distance but it does little to help life. On the other hand, a piecemeal development can respond to the needs of life and changing times. It can give opportunity to gradual, diversified development, both in terms of use and architecture. By developing in small sections, block by block, or in smaller parts, a conscious whole can be created that is based on a successive integration of different elements.

Public places

The public place can mean many things. Obviously a cultural centre or a space around a fountain. Or a street that allows for unplanned social encounters. It is of course also a park or a sport ground. Another is a place where people go for a chat over a drink. But it can also be a working place.
The public place play a very important part in the life of the youth. It can easily be a combination of different things that bring a cross-section of the residents together. Physically it can be a focal point that is also architecturally useful as a valuable landmark. All these places for collective interaction are necessary, both socially and for exploring the drama of urban spaces.

Crown study

Attention need to be given to further definition of the Crown. The planning will have to become more precise, what are the uses, what is the relation to the zone areas and to the city as whole, and what are the patterns of movement on the Ring road? Does the Crown form various city centres at different points? How are they integrated into the general fabric? One should not litter the Crown with random developments merely as a result of thoughtless planning.

Design exercise

Integration is no doubt the key to create a successful living environment. How are things to be related to each other in order to help Auroville grow as an urban experiment? How are the concentrated development, the public spaces, private spaces, streets, greenery, the Crown to be integrated in a piecemeal manifestation giving place for both public influence and urban order?

With the purpose of exploring this challenge, we will now attempt an exercise in designing - in stages - a selected area in the Residential zone, including part of the Crown. The sketches will be done in a spirit of research and study. We are interested in possibilities, not in immediate end results.

On Friday the 30th of November we will meet to look at some design attempts made by Dominic.


for the Study Circle team

Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Nov 02, 2001