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CITY OF DAWN

• State : Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (Pondicherry)


• District : Viluppuram
• Population (2018) : 2814
• Established : 28th February, 1968
• Founder : Mirra Alfassa (The Mother)
• Architect : Roger Anger
• Authorities : The Governing Board
The Residents Assembly
The International Advisory Council
• Local folklore has it that the young tree on a sprawling sun-baked plateau
north of Pondicherry sent out a call for help that was received by Mirra
Alfassa in Sri Aurobindo Ashram
• Known to her followers as the Mother, the woman responded to the tree’s call
and in doing so, she found the place she was looking for — the foundation
for a universal township
• Her guiding principles were Sri Aurobindo’s ideal of human unity, his
emphasis on cultural collaboration and his vision of India as a spiritual
leader of the world
• Interestingly, she was over 90 when she started work with architect Roger
Anger to chalk out a blueprint for a city of 50,000 people!
• For the next few years, work on Auroville progressed rapidly under the
Mother’s able guidance
• An exhibition on Auroville and its city plan was displayed below an blue
canopy erected among the trees
• The concept of Auroville - an ideal township devoted to an experiment in
human unity - came to the Mother as early as the 1930s
• In 1966 UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution commending it as a project
of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full
encouragement
• The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity – in diversity
• 124 nations, including all the states of India attended the inauguration and
brought with them some soil from their homeland, to be mixed in a white
marble clad, lotus shaped urn, now sited at the focal point of amphitheatre
• The Mother gave Auroville its 4-point Charter
• Located in south India, Tamil Nadu state with 10kms north of Pondicherry
and 150kms south of Chennai
• They come from some 49 nations, from all age groups, from all social classes,
backgrounds and cultures, representing humanity as a whole.
1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as
a whole. But to live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of the Divine
Consciousness.
2. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress
and a youth that never ages.
3. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking
advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will
boldly spring towards future realisations.
4. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living
embodiment of an actual human unity.
• The initial concept of the city was
laid down by The Mother
• Plan laid out in form of a galaxy -
a galaxy in which several 'arms' or
Lines of Force seem to unwind from
a central region
• The central zone is peace zone and
other parts radiating from centre
and finally surrounded by thick
green zone
• The central circle represents
the Divine consciousness
• The four petals represent the
four powers of Mother
• The twelve petals represent
the twelve power of the
Mother manifested from her
work
• The city area is with a
radius of 1.25 km
• Zoning
― Peace Zone
― Industrial Zone
― International Zone
― Cultural Zone
― Residential Zone
― Green Belt
• At the centre of the township
• Comprising the Matrimandir and its
gardens, the amphitheatre with the
Urn of Human Unity that contains
the soil of 121 nations and 23
Indian states,
• The project of a lake to help
create an atmosphere of calm and
serenity and to serve as a
groundwater recharge area
• At the very centre of Auroville one finds the 'soul of the city', the
Matrimandir, situated in a large open area called 'Peace'
• The Matrimandir can be viewed as a large golden sphere which seems to be
emerging out of the earth, symbolising the birth of a new consciousness
• Matrimandir gardens are divided into 12 individual named parks such as
Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress,
Youth, Harmony, Perfection.
• The name 'Matrimandir' means literally 'Temple of the Mother‘
• According to Sri Aurobindo's teaching, the 'Mother' i.e. ‘The Divine Mother’
concept stands for the great evolutionary, conscious and intelligent principle
of Life
• A 109-hectare area to the north of
the Peace Area,
• The Industrial Zone, a zone for
"green" industries, is focused on
Auroville's efforts towards a self-
supporting township
• It will contain small and medium-
scale industries, training centres,
arts and crafts, and the city's
administration.
• A zone of 74 hectares to the west
of the Peace Area
• Will host national and cultural
pavilions, grouped by continents
• Its central focus is to create a living
demonstration of human unity in
diversity through the expression of
the genius and contribution of each
nation to humanity
• The largest of the four city zones,
comprising of 189 hectares
• The Residential Zone is bordered
by parks on the north, south and
west
• This zone wants to provide a well-
adjusted habitat between
individual and collective living
• Planned on a 93-hectare area,
situated to the east of the Peace
Area
• The Cultural Zone will be a site for
applied research in education and
artistic expression
• Facilities for cultural, educational,
art and sports activities will be
located in this zone.
• The city area with a radius of 1.25
km will be surrounded by a Green
Belt of 1.25 km width
• As a zone for organic farms,
dairies, orchards, forests,
and wildlife areas, this belt will act
as a barrier against urban
encroachment, provide a variety of
habitats for wildlife, and serve as
a source for food, timber,
medicines etc. and as a place for
recreation.
Developed area
• 40% is Residential
• Public spaces about 28%
• Commercial, manufacturing and other economic activities constitute about
12%
• About 13% is under roads and streets serving both urban and non-urban
uses.
• Village settlements : Six village settlements within the Auroville township area
• Auroville Communities: At present there are 95 Auroville residential
communities
• The Commercial area in the Township includes retail services
• The Manufacturing use includes about 100 large and small manufacturing
and processing units
• Public and Semi-Public uses include amenities such as schools, health facilities,
services and utilities
• Administrative and Institutional uses include centre(Bharat Nivas) & Auroville
Foundation offices
• Recreational uses : few playgrounds, centre field.
• Car Free Plan
• Pedal-power within the city proper
• Parking at outer ring-road
• Schematic Road Network
• Water Supply
― The entire water supply both for drinking and irrigation is dependent on
underground sources
― A number of deep wells
― Extensive water management research and application.

• Sewerage and Sanitation


― Consisting of septic tanks, Imhoff tanks, baffle reactors, and root zone and
lagooning systems.

• Power
― About 150 houses use solar PV electricity and heaters for their energy
requirements
― The power distribution of around 600consumer connections is carried through
a system of 28 distribution transformers.
• Education
― Two primary schools
― Three high schools for children residing in Auroville
― The Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research (SAIIER), an
organisation established in 1984, co-ordinates the multi-faceted educational
and cultural activities in Auroville.

• Health
― The Auroville Health Centre, serves the community

• Tourist Infrastructure
― Visitors and tourists consists of information centres, guest houses, and the
Visitors Centre

• Recreation
― The township has presently four play fields for various outdoor sports, such
as tennis, football, volleyball and badminton, and a gymnasium and indoor
sports facilities
• SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION
― Extensive networks of raised earth banks and ditches called ‘bunds’
were placed along the contours of the land, along with a series of
earth check dams and catchment ponds
― Work units ‘Palmyra’ and ‘Water Harvest’ are currently targeting the
rehabilitation of an ancient network of community catchment tanks
that once covered the land, in an attempt to recharge the aquifers,
prevent saltwater intrusion and conserve water for irrigation

• REFORESTATION
― 12 MILLION TREES PLANTED IN 30 YEARS
― As the vegetation has grown the microclimate has changed.
• Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs) that are used like bricks

• RENEWABLE ENERGY
― total of around 250kw of electricity producing solar panels are installed

• Solar Kitchen
― The solar concentrator that generates enough steam to cook for 2,000
people a day

• WASTE WATER TREATMENT


― First wastewater recycling solutions : septic tank and soak pit
― Develop planted filters, also called constructed wetlands
― Root zone treatment systems
― Effective Microorganism (EM) technology
PROS CONS

• Human unity • Diverse culture


• Calm atmosphere • No vehicle facility for elders
• Self supporting town • Not allowed in Matrimandir
• Diverse culture • Closed community
• Collective living
• Benefitting neighbouring villages
• Road network
• Sustainable living
• Auroville is a success story for sustainability
• A pioneer in environmental restoration, it has gained international acclaim
for innovative developments inappropriate technology, sustain-able
agriculture and rural regeneration
• A flagship community of the eco village movement
• Auroville has received unanimous endorsement from UNESCO as a ‘city the
earth needs’
• https://www.auroville.org/ (official website)
• https://www.thebetterindia.com/132379/50-years-auroville-matri-mandir-
pondicherry-history/
• https://www.auroville.info/ACUR/masterplan/index.htm (master plan)
Made by:
Meghna Jain