Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Nov 30, 2001

City Study Circle

Forum for town planning

November 30, 2001

On the 30th of November 12 people attended the session at Brand New Day's office.

Dominic welcomed us to his office and we were quite impressed by it and its positive atmosphere. Large size models for the Crown were displayed on the tables, together with proposed plans for the Residential zone that were produced a few years ago in collaboration with David.

A discussion followed on the large masses of the galaxy model. If the galaxy is realised, what will be its proper manifestation? As presented, it is a mass-model. The land coverage of the buildings in some areas is very high. Such a model is not going to be built as is. The next step is yet to come.

It is important to question whether the physical conditions that such a model suggests are suitable for living. The concept must be formulated in our lives. The model must be changed to the extent it is found necessary after matching it against proper performance criteria.

What is the Crown, merely a necklace of buildings that stretches out without pulsating main centers of activities? Do we need to review the abstract concept in order to allow for such knots of pulsating life? Together with the Plaza, the Town Hall Annex could have served a good purpose in forming the beginning of such a nucleus on the Crown. Why does development in Auroville always tend to disperse? Is it a consequence of the galaxy concept because the concept does not contain centers that generate clustered development?

Development ought to start in integration with the Crown, including in the process all aspects of urban design. It is useless to have hundreds of scattered buildings and, one day, try to connect them. It will not work. Let us be clear about the difference between architecture and city planning.

Some important question were addressed:

  • Is the Design of the city a dimension that inherently needs to be detached from the life of the human world in order to express the new consciousness;

  • Is there a conflict between Form and Function?

  • How do we look at the relation between the life of this world, the life that people are bound to live in the external reality and that of the 'spiritual' purpose of Auroville, as this relation is embodied in the Form and Content of the City?

  • To define the question further, does the contact between the two mean that the new life is lost when acknowledging the nature of the physical world and its workings, and on the other hand, is that world deprived of what is sound and real to it by the touch of the new life? Is there in all this necessarily a flaw?

The answer is built into the very purpose of Auroville. There can be no such a division. The aim of Auroville is to fuse the two (or discover their existing oneness) - including the challenges of the evolving external world. Furthermore, in our Integral Yoga there is no conflict between common sense and spirituality. So the question seems superfluous, but even so, once we start discussing how Auroville is going to proceed in its growth as a city there is some unclarity on this point.

We are often reminded of the importance of the planning process. If it is right, the outcome will be constructive. The key to this process is team work, public participation, collaboration. At the meeting next week we will try to earmark some areas of development for our exercises in urban design.

 

felix@auroville.org.in 
for the Study Circle team

Home > The City > Planning the Township > City Study Circle > Report - Nov 30, 2001