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see also: AvToday articles :

Problems of housing, Oct. '04

Aluminium houses in Auroville,
June-July '03

The attempt to finance housing
apartments through loans, Jan '03


Affordable housing, Oct. '02

Towards undivine anarchy, Oct. '02

Building Invocation and Arati,
Nov, 2001

Auroville evolves

a brief bulding history

The Mother had been "dreaming" of a project like Auroville for quite a long time. It was only in 1965 that she began to work actively on it. A French architect was given the responsibility of preparing the lay-out, and he worked on it with his colleagues in Paris. The purchase of land started. At that time, those interested in the project were staying mainly in Pondicherry.


The official inauguration took place on 28th February 1968, with a formal ceremony around an Urn, into which was placed the Auroville Charter and earth from all over India and the world as a symbol of national and human unity.
As the pioneers arrived, they established themselves on the outskirts of the future township of Auroville, in settlements named Promesse, Hope, Forecomers and Aspiration.
For several years no permanent construction was authorized on the site of the future town, except for the Matrimandir and the Bharat Nivas (the Pavilion of India), the construction of which started in 1971.
The development of the project was first concentrated in the settlement of Aspiration, then in Auromodèle, an area earmarked for experimentation, near the Tamil village of Kuilapalayam, in order to make a concrete attempt at learning how to live in Auroville and in the Green Belt, an area of forest and farms which is to surround the future town.
In 1974 there were already 322 Aurovilians. With an average yearly growth of 4 % in the seventies, of 5 % in the eighties and of 8% in the nineties, the number of Aurovilians reached 1808 by the end of August 2004.
With the present trend of growth, Auroville may reach its full dimension, that is 50.000 inhabitants within 30 years.
Out of roughly 90 settlements, only 7 of them include row-houses or appartments (in the City area: Creativity, Grace, Vikas, Arati, Surrender, Invocation, Prarthna and one in Auromodele area). The rest comprises individual houses which range from the hut-type residence to decent villas.
30% of Aurovilians live in the area of Aspiration/Auromodele, 40% live within the town area, and the rest are scattered in the Green Belt, in farms or in beach communities.
Schools for Aurovilians are found in three places, Centre Field (near Matrimandir Gardens), Transition and Aspiration (Last School).
Three national pavilions are are found in the International Zone: the Indian pavilion called Bharat Nivas, the Pavilion for Tibetan Culture and the Unity Pavilion.
More than 100 commercial units, mainly doing handicrafts, are widely scattered over the area, with a higher concentration in the Industrial Zone.

 

- adapted from the Brochure "Auroville, a dream takes shape"

 

 

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