The utopia with no cars: how Auroville is rejecting Indian consumerism” by Vidhi Doshi, The Guardian, August 2018

Auroville, a utopian community located in southern India, is challenging the traditional consumerist lifestyle by embracing sustainable living practices and rejecting the use of cars. In an article published in The Guardian in August 2018, Vidhi Doshi explored the unique way of life in Auroville and the motivations behind its rejection of car culture.

The community of Auroville was founded in 1968 with the aim of creating a model society that would transcend national boundaries, promote sustainable living, and encourage spiritual growth. Today, it is home to over 2,500 people from more than 50 countries who live and work together to achieve these goals.

One of the ways in which Auroville is challenging traditional consumerism is by rejecting the use of cars. The community has intentionally designed its infrastructure to discourage the use of cars, instead promoting cycling and walking as the primary modes of transportation. The article highlights how this decision has led to a more sustainable way of life in Auroville, with reduced traffic congestion, noise pollution, and carbon emissions.

However, the rejection of cars is not solely based on environmental concerns. Auroville’s decision to discourage car culture is also rooted in its philosophy of promoting community living and reducing individualism. By eliminating cars from the community, Auroville is creating a space where people can interact more intimately with each other and with their environment, promoting a sense of interconnectedness and shared responsibility.

The article also highlights the challenges faced by Auroville in its rejection of car culture. Auroville is located in a rural area with limited public transportation options, and many residents work in nearby towns that require the use of cars for commuting. As a result, the community has had to find creative solutions to meet these challenges, including the use of electric vehicles and the creation of carpooling programs.

Despite these challenges, Auroville’s rejection of car culture is a powerful example of how a community can challenge traditional consumerist values and promote sustainable living practices. By prioritizing community living and environmental sustainability, Auroville is creating a model society that serves as a beacon of hope for those seeking alternatives to the destructive forces of consumerism.

In conclusion, Auroville’s rejection of car culture is just one example of the community’s commitment to sustainable living and spiritual growth. By challenging traditional consumerist values and promoting community living, Auroville is creating a model society that offers a glimpse of a more hopeful and sustainable future. As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, Auroville serves as a powerful reminder that another way of life is possible.

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