An Attempt at a New Spirit in Providing Housing

The concept of Citadines is an alternative way of approaching residence and community building. While being rational, practical and easy to maintain, the project rests on the foundation of maintaining the basic ideals of Auroville. The prime criterion to live in Citadines is to be dedicated to Auroville.

In exchange for this dedication, fully furnished flats, decorated with beauty-in simplicity, and provided with collective services such as covered parking, laundry service, reception desk, multi-purpose hall, complete maintenance of flats, buildings and gardens, etc, have been provided. The basic concept is that the time, energy and resources of residents who are fully dedicated to the growth of Auroville is not scattered or inefficiently used.

The entire project has been financed by donations, to allow Auroville to further its collective research toward a fraternal economy.


Facilities In Citadines

The first phase of Citadines, planned to house 50-60 people, comprises two apartment buildings, each consisting of a ground floor plus three storeys, with a total residential built-up area of approx 2,000 sq m, with approx 1,300 sq.m. area for various community facilities on the ground floor of each block. The design incorporates various solar passive techniques and building materials to have low mechanical energy usage and climatically comfortable Interiors. There are three types of apartments:

12 nos. singles' apartments, each with a usable area of approx 30 sq.m.

6 nos. 2-bed apartments, each of approx 60 sq.m.

6 nos. 2-bed apartments, each of approx 90 sq.m.

All the apartments have 7-10 sq.m. of covered balcony area and also 14 sq.m. of terrace gardens in addition to the usable area.

Exploring a Fraternal Economy

Choosing the residents of Citadines was a delicate task, to which the project holders in consultation with the Housing Service gave their full attention. Aurovilians, Newcomers and Long Term Guests were eligible. Dedication to Auroville and to meeting the needs of the candidate were the prime criteria. Attention was also paid to keeping a balance between the above-mentioned categories of residents.

On a practical level:

  • Money was not the criterion for allocating residences,
  • The "client/builder" relationship was eliminated.
  • Auroville takes care of its committed citizens.
  • Residents are freed from "domestic" chores, and so have more time and energy to give to Auroville's needs.
  • There is no sense of personal ownership, but rather a sense of sharing a collective asset of Auroville.
  • The sense of mobility is enhanced as if is easy to change from one flat to another or from one building to another as time goes by, and the situation of the occupants' changes.
  • The flats were offered with no exchange of money.
  • General maintenance is handled through a central 'Citadines Fund'.