On the 5th of April Lalit, member
of Auroville's Town planning team, was invited to share some
information on the present work on the Detailed Master Plan.
Asia Urbs is a funding opportunity
coupled with technical assistance from various sources. The
project entails many activities and one of them is the detailing
of the Auroville Master Plan. Several other activities are also
closely linked to the Master Plan and would provide a valuable
input, such as for instance the Energy Plan, and the Water
Management Study, - to name just a few.
Like all the projects, this too has a
description of work to be done and the manpower required to
carry out these tasks. One senior and one junior town planner
have been assigned to carry out the related activities and Mr.
Dattatri and Lalit have
taken up these tasks. Anupama is the in-house in-charge
responsible person for
the delivery of the final output.
Projected AV population
The detailing work is a next step in
planning and is based on the Master Plan.
Broadly the Plan says that the projected population of 50.000 is
expected to be
reached in 2025. In Phase One, that is now targeted, the
projected population of
15,000 is to be reached by 2010.
The targets that have been set for the
end of the two years grant period include the following areas:
Sector 1-2 Residential zone
Sector 1 Cultural zone
Sector 1 Industrial zone
Sector 1 International zone
City Center including the Crown
with 5000 inhabitants (the area inside of the Crown)
One of the four Service Nodes
Land Use Plan for the Green Belt
Recommendation for a Housing
Conceptual plan for the whole
Planning proposals for areas
outside of the township
Administration (Town hall)
and an Annual plan
Standards and zoning regulations
There are also other fields of
importance such as water, energy, waste management, village
development, environmental studies, GIS data base. The survey of
all AV owned land within the city area has already been
completed. Different standards have been collected from various
national & international sources. Depending upon the
standards there are different scenarios. These standards are
zoning regulations that decide what spaces are allotted to
different uses. In the Residential zone, for instance, the size
in hectares of areas for dwellings, internal roads, open spaces
and parks, crèches,
kindergartens, schools for the age 6-12, playgrounds, first aid
centres, kiosks, convenient stores, parking etc.
More collaboration required
Lalit also presented the working order
of the planning group with names of the
people who have taken up the different tasks within the Asia
Urbs project. He
pointed out that the work is enormous and requested
participation from the
interested and committed members of the community as this area
touches all. He mentioned that Auroville has a large number of
talented architects, qualified professionals and persons
experienced in one or other townplanning related activities, and
that it is very unfortunate that this energy has not been coming
together in spite of the fact that we all are working for
To make a Detailed Plan for a place
like Auroville asks for in-depth research, documentation,
effective awareness, communication and participation from all.
We have many areas listed out which could be taken up by
interested people in our area of work.
The ongoing work includes the thorough analysis of the existing
pattern like the area already used by the various communities
and how much land
is remaining in each zone/sector and to make plans to house the
It was also mentioned that some
important baseline studies have already been completed, such as
Solid Waste Management Study (by Australian experts), Mobility
Concept (Non Polluting Transport Initiative by Mr. Ballinger,
Many AV services and groups are closely working with the
Planning, providing their input at regular meetings and
interaction is taking place. There is a growing and professional
team at work. Many students are coming for training and research
work, and new full time members are joining the team.
The Master Plan document is almost
ready for distribution in the community.
Also an Internet version is getting ready for easier and wider
access. GIS is an
area that is being developed fast and a comprehensive database
is being created
for all the services and uses of Auroville.
Sustainability is the universal objective
Asked for the precise Aims and
Objectives and how they are related to a deeper
sense of life quality, Lalit responded by saying that
sustainability is the
universal objective. This area needs further elaboration and
approaches related to it. We need to study further to what
degree real urban
design principles are present or absent in the present planning
With the Master plan as
reference we will continue our debate and formulate
more exactly what is the real purpose of urban design and what
addresses in creating the integrated, sustainable and
environment that we call 'the city'.