Planning the City
Through its Master Plan, Auroville wants to break new ground in settlement-planning in such a way as to help other cities, both in India and abroad, which are experiencing high urbanisation trends. Auroville also hopes to demonstrate how 'urban' & 'rural' areas can complementarily develop in an integral and holistic way for their mutual benefit and well-being. We talk about an 'integrated' masterplan, implying here that both city and environment are integrally planned for, since Auroville has come to care for its 'hinterland'.
Undesirable Trends in Urban Growth
Until recently, urban growth was considered undesirable, and all policies emphasised how migration from rural areas could be checked. However, these policies have not succeeded, with the result that urban areas are becoming more and more degraded. Presently, both national and international opinion is in favour of urbanisation, as they have become engines of development, and emphasise policies that promote it. Taken too far, these policies may also become untenable, because of the heavy toll urban areas impose on limited natural resources. They may also disrupt the food security of the entire nation. This is why planners today are talking of establishing rural-urban linkages.
It is common knowledge that expanding urban areas encroach not only on valuable agricultural land, but also tend to surround village settlements in such a way that they become islands of poverty, with scarce infrastructure, in neighbourhoods which are otherwise well served with infrastructure. It is also seen that village settlements, even at a stone's throw from the limits of a city, have no semblance of improved quality in housing, sanitation or quality of life.
Auroville's approach aspires to go much further. The approach of its Master Plan is to establish that the economic and human intellectual resources, which normally gravitate to urban areas, can be effectively used to spread development more evenly, and to create an equitable and economically sound society. This is, more often than not, presently not the case in regard to the way cities are planned, developed and are functioning.
Optimum Mix of Densities
Auroville's concept is to build a city that will economise on land needs by introducing development approaches with an optimum mix of densities and appealing urban forms and amenities, while the surrounding Green Belt will be a fertile zone for applied research in the sectors of food production, forestry, soil conservation, water management, waste management, and other areas which assist sustainable development. The results of such innovative methods will be available for application in both rural and urban areas everywhere in support of their development.
The aim of the planning exercise has been to identify a broad framework and structure within which all development in Auroville, whether physical or socio-economic, can fit. It is also to include a structure of existing and planned land-use, indicating the possible progress to be made in development of the various parts of the city's development and forming a clear and transparent basis for its overall direction.
Stages of Developing the Auroville Master Plan
According to the latest Guidelines of UDPFI ('Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation', a publication prepared by the Institute of Town Planners of India, ITPI, and published on behalf of the Ministry of Urban Development), the approach to planning needs to be in three stages:
1. Perspective Master Plan >> more
A very broadly based plan, incorporating planning policies and general structure of land use, transportation and scale of amenities.
2. Development Plan
This plan builds up on the Perspective Master Plan. At this stage, the ground realities will be reviewed in detail. At this level also, much more data, information and collaboration from the community will be required.
3. Annual Plan (Implementation Plan)
The Annual Plan, conceived within the framework of the Development Plan, will contain the details of new and ongoing projects to be implemented during the financial year.
The Auroville Universal Township Master Plan Perspective: 2025
Auroville Town Development CouncilAuroville Town Development CouncilAuroville's Town Planning BodyL ‘avenir d’Auroville is based on the vision expressed by the Charter, set by the Founders, and its materialized expression in the Master Plan of Auroville. Its vocation is to plan, develop and construct the Auroville Township, not only materially but also fostering the socio-economic fabric of the city, resulting in a balanced, sustainable development, in all aspects – environmental, economic, social, physical.
The Master PlanBreaking New Ground in Settlement-PlanningThe Master Plan of Auroville would break new grounds in settlement planning which can help other cities in India and other countries experiencing high urbanisation trends. It would demonstrate how 'urban' and 'rural' areas can complementarily develop in an integral and holistic way for their mutual benefit and well-being.
DreamcatchersAiming to Call Down & Synthesise the Mother's Dream for AurovilleThe Dream Catchers are not a group. The Dream Catchers are an expanding forum for heart-storming ideas and pertinent questions, leading to a richer, wider, all-encompassing vision of Auroville through the elaboration of the Galaxy concept. No ideas are censored in the Dream Catchers, no matter how seemingly impossible, stupid or utopian (especially utopian). No input is demanded from any of the participants, as we believe inspiration flows at its own pace.