The Auroville Universal Township Master Plan

prepared by: Auroville Foundation
with the assistance of
Town & Country Planning Organization
Government of India

Ministry of Urban Development
& Poverty Alleviation
 This Master Plan is approved by the Ministry of Human Resource Development
via letter No. F. 27-3/2000-UU, Dated 12th April, 2001
 INTRODUCTION:– Message from Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi,
  Minister of Human Resource
  Development,   Government of India. – Foreword by Shri Jagmohan
  Minister for Urban Development and
  Poverty   Alleviation, Government of India – Preface by Dr. Kireet Joshi,
  Chairman Auroville Foundation


The Auroville Universal Township envisaged by the Mother is one of the unique examples of manifestation of human unity in diversity. The township founded on a barren plateau devoid of any blade of grass in 1968 has become a green area shaded with a variety of trees and plants. The architectural designs, appropriate building technologies, conservation approach, rainwater harvesting, re-use and recycling of water resources, solid waste management, land re-generation, community participation are some of the areas where innovative models and techniques have been developed and adapted in the township.As per Charter, Auroville belongs to the humanity as a whole and the one who is to live in Auroville must be willing servitor of Divine Consciousness. It is in this background the growth of Auroville needs to be seen. The township designed for an ultimate population of 50000 in an area of 2000 ha. would be a viable functional entity. Although the character and set up of the township may not be the same as that of any other town of similar size, functionally it requires to be a self contained township. The Master Plan of the township has, therefore, rightly envisaged development of economic zone alongwith residential, cultural and institutional areas. The provision of green belt around the built up portion of the township would be an important environmental safeguard. Auroville is a different township from development management point of view and the Master Plan exercise has rightly recognised its uniqueness.I am sure, Master Plan would channelise the future growth and development of Auroville as per the envisioned charter. Its development may provide a good model for emulation in other towns and cities as well. Contributions made by the Resident Assembly and the various other Aurovilian Working Groups in formulation of the Master Plan are praiseworthy symbolising active involvement of community groups in Master Plan exercise. I compliment Town and Country Planning Organisation of this Ministry and Auroville Foundation for drawing the Auroville Master Plan of international significance.Dated : 25 Jan., 2001JAGMOHANMinister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation,
Government of India


Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have diagnosed the contemporary crisis of humanity as an evolutionary crisis which can be resolved only if the consciousness of universal fraternity can manifest and bring about actualisation of human unity. In order to aid this difficult objective, the Mother founded Auroville on 28th February 1968 as a Universal Township, 150 kms. south of Chennai in south India and gave it a Charter. This Charter declares that Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole and that to live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of Divine Consciousness. It further declares that Auroville will be the place of unending education and constant progress, a bridge between the past and the future, and that it will be the site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.

The Mother envisaged the Auroville township of an ultimate population of 50,000, with Matrimandir as its centre and soul. Since its inception, the township has been growing steadily and today it has about 1,500 residents representing 35 nationalities.

The Auroville Foundation Act, 1988, enacted by the Government of India, is one of the important milestones in the development of Auroville. It provides a statutory support for preparation of Master Plan of Auroville to ensure orderly and planned development of Auroville. The Auroville township is designed to be in an area of 2000 ha. in a circular form of which about 850 ha. have already been acquired by the Auroville Foundation. The Master Plan envisages systematic development of the Township and prevention of any non-conforming developments in the area. The Master Plan based on the original concept given by the Mother envisages intertwining of four major functional zones, namely, Residential, Cultural, International, and Industrial, — around a Peace Area in the centre. About 25% of the township would be built up portion, surrounded by a green belt based on the concept of eco-friendly and sustainable development.

Innovative models and techniques in the field of afforestation, land development, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, building technology, community participation, energy saving, etc; incorporated in the Master Plan would be integral to the township development and management. Integrated urban and rural development strategies have also been envisaged.

Auroville is a unique township, the fundamental thrust of which is centred on research, which is comprehensive and which transcends all creeds, all politics, and all narrowing ideologies. It encompasses the areas of the East and the West and human unity, of science and spirituality, of arts, crafts and technologies, and of all that pertains to the evolution of humanity through a process of evolutionary mutation leading up to the development of a new humanity or superhumanity. It can be described as a Centre of Advanced Research.

I appreciate the contributions made by the Residents Assembly of Auroville and its various groups. I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the Planning Team of the Auroville Foundation, Mr. Roger Anger, Chief Architect of Auroville, and a number of individuals who have worked day and night to bring the Master Plan (Perspective: 2025) into its final form. I am particularly thankful to Shri G. Dattatri, Urban Advisor, who has inspired our Planning Team and devoted a good deal of his precious time by visiting Auroville frequently and working on this Master Plan (Perspective: 2025).
My special thanks are to Shri D.S. Meshram, Chief Planner, Town and Country Planning Organisation, Government of India, and his colleagues, Shri J.B. Kshirsagar and Shri M.L.Chotani for their advice and collaboration in formulating this Master Plan (Perspective: 2025).

It would be relevant at this stage to record with great satisfaction that in our endeavours to develop the township and particularly in promoting and in establishing foundation for sustainable development, we have received great support from the Governmental and Non-governmental Organisations, besides national and international agencies. It is also noteworthy that UNESCO has passed five Resolutions at its General Conferences to express its support to the establishment and promotion of Auroville. I would also like to record with gratefulness the constant goodwill, encouragement and involvement of the Government of India, as also of the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

I am happy that this Master Plan (Perspective : 2025) has been prepared jointly by the Auroville Foundation and the Town and Country Planning Organisation of the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.

Auroville Foundation

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