Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Oct 12, 2001

City Study Circle

Forum for town planning

October 12, 2001

On the 12th of October the Study Circle held its first session for the season. 12 people attended the meeting.

Helmut gave a presentation of Mr Billingerīs 'Auroville Mobility Concept'*:

City planning throughout most of the last century, Mr Billinger explains, gave priority to fast moving traffic and open spaces suitable for the sculptural display of buildings. However, that time is now over. Such a planning only destroys cities. Planning, nowadays, is focused on dimensions that are close-grained and suitable for pedestrian streets and slow moving motor traffic. High priority is given to public transport.

In adopting these ideas to Auroville:

  • The Crown is proposed to allow for only a mixed traffic of pedestrians, cyclists, rickshaws, tangas (horse carts) and public transport with a speed limit of 15 km/h

  • Other categories of transport allowed would be non-polluting taxis, delivery vans, transport of disabled etc., but no individual vehicular traffic

  • Out of the 15 proposed radial roads, only 4 would be allowing for motor traffic. The others are, like the Crown, only for pedestrians etc. Since the Crown is not motorised, no through traffic of that kind can cross through the city.

  • Long distance traffic is to be directed to the outer Ring road. That is also where the parking will be. No parking is permitted inside the city.

  • The public transport system is proposed to connect the four nodal points on the outer Ring road by bringing the passengers along the radials and around the Crown.

  • A round trip on the Crown at 15 km/h would take 40 min. all in all. With a high population there could be a high frequency of buses and that would make the transport system sufficiently efficient.

As examples of similar principles that are proposed for Auroville, Helmut showed slides from Venice, Weimar and especially Zermatt, an entirely car-free town in Switzerland.

In the discussion that followed, it was pointed out that the 'Mobility Concept' might work all right in its own kind with a large population when the city is there. But what about all the stages to reach there? Auroville is a process, not an end product. Furthermore, how can one plan for mobility without considering the city fabric in general since it determines the character of mobility so much. The role of the outer Ring road was questioned. To what extent will people in the future really be in need of individual transport? Perhaps most movement can be taken care of by public transport, both within Auroville and in its relation to the outside world.


*Down load Auroville Mobility Concept (1.9Mb, pdf)


for the Study Circle team

Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Oct 12, 2001