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Participatory Planning and Development

Auroville Master Plan

1. The community is aware that the Master Plan for Auroville was approved by the Government of India (HRD Ministry) at a meeting held on 14th February at new Delhi with representatives of Urban Development Dept Government of India and the Director of Town and Country Planning Tamil Nadu being present.

2. This Master Plan, both the written document as well as the two principal Land Use maps, showing the existing and proposed land use are available for reference at Auroville's Future. The document will also be made available on website soon.

3. The 'Auroville Innovative Urban Management' project under the Asia-Urbs program of the European Union which commenced its work formally on April 11, 2001, is designed to take the master plan work further and detail out actions in collaboration with all stakeholders to achieve the vision of The Mother in developing Auroville as a Universal Township in the next 20 to 25 years.

4. The preparation of this Master Plan followed an informed, open and participatory path. Many groups and individuals from within and outside Auroville actively contributed in this endeavor. It was also available for display and several open discussions about it took place. To make it further more participatory and accessible, we further request the Aurovilians to participate in this unique and crucial work. All are welcome to use this facility and provide their inputs regularly, keeping in view the principal features of the approved Master Plan.

5. The principal features on which the further work will be detailed out are indicated below:

a) Auroville will be a township to accommodate 50,000 persons.

b) Most of this population is distributed as shown in table below:


Area in Ha


Peace Area





City Centre

Green Belt



















c) Auroville would be entirely dependent for its water supply, both for domestic as well as green uses, on underground water, which in turn depends entirely on the rainfall in the area. Hence water harvesting, conservation and recycling of water have to be practiced to the maximum extent possible. The Master Plan has used a per capita domestic water supply of 150 liters per capita per day (lpcd) as an optimum standard. Indian average is 135 lpcd for planning the water service in urban areas.

d) There will be four main access roads leading into the township. The two from the East Coast Road side will lead to the Residential Zone and to the Cultural Zone. The two connections from the Tindivanam roadside will lead to the International Zone and the Industrial Zone. There will be 4 main service nodes and 4 sub-service nodes on these access roads to facilitate pollution free traffic movement within the township.

e) The Green Belt extending over 1472 Ha has three principal sectors, each with its predominant use:

i. Farm uses on the west
ii. Forest type uses on the east
iii. Settlement related uses including recreation on the south
It would be clear that most of the building activities have to be within the belt of land between the Matrimandir area (28 Ha) and the line demarcating the inner boundary of the Green Belt (1.25 km from center).

f) Auroville as on date owns only 383 Ha within the city area and 395 Ha in the Green Belt. Securing land not owned by Auroville will continue to follow the procedures followed so far, i.e. mostly by negotiation. Considering constraints of finances priorities for securing the land need to be identified taking note of the developments contemplated. In special cases, Government of India's and Government of Tamil Nadu's good offices for acquisition may be sought.

g) Auroville's future development is inextricably linked to the development of surrounding village settlements as well as the larger bioregion extending over 700 Sq.Kms. All possible ways have to be explored to achieve overall harmony through joint efforts.

h) The underlying theme for all development, particularly within Auroville will be to explore and utilize cost-effective & eco-friendly practices to ensure sustainable development.

6. The outputs under the Asia Urbs project to take Auroville one step further in achieving the vision of The Mother are the following:

A) Environmental Resource Directory as a base document for all environmental development interactive planning.

B) A detailed Land Utilization Plan within the Auroville Township both in the city and the green belt areas.

C) A Water Resource and Infrastructure Plan for both water and wastewater.

D) A Traffic and Transport plan including definition of main access to the township.

E) A Solid Waste Management Plan including management of bio-medical and hazardous waste.

F) An Energy Plan incorporating alternate energy resources.

G) A Built Environment Plan crystallizing the City Image, Density, and relationship with Open spaces, and

H) Urban Green work: Parks, Green corridors.

I) A Plan to harmonize activities both within the township and outside with the village settlements through joint partnership program.

J) A Plan prioritizing land needs for development.

K) A Five-year physical and financial Implementation Plan.

7. Contribution to this work, which is to be completed in two years, is needed from all stakeholders. Aurovilians and other interested persons are requested to indicate their preferred area or topic where they can make a significant contribution. A library is also being setup to support this activity. The objective of this Interactive Facility is to provide a base to receive and discuss the ideas from all interested people/groups on the mentioned subject.

We propose to begin with the initial consultation process with the groups/persons and arrange awareness cum participative gatherings with community and experts. The detailed program will be announced later.

Lalit is available at Aurofuture to assist you in this regard. Please send any enquiry, comments, studies, reports or links concerning this work to planning@auroville.org.in 

Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - June 01, 2001 >Participatory Planning and Development (archive)