City of the Future
In terms of physical development, Auroville aims at becoming a model of the 'city of the future' or 'the city the earth needs'. It wants to show the world that future realizations in all fields of work will allow us to build beautiful cities where people sincerely looking towards a more harmonious future will want to live.
But, what should the "City of the Future" be?
In her 1965 sketch of Auroville, the Mother laid down the basic concept for the town. This sketch delineated all the important activity areas that would fulfill the vision of making it a universal township. The Mother gave us clear parameters for a number of things, while for other things she gave a free hand to Roger Anger, the French architect she had appointed to oversee the township's physical development.
The Master plan
Center, Zones and Green Belt
The central theme of living in and working for an actual human unity is symbolized by the fact that various zones of the township radiate outwards from a central point: the Matrimandir in the Peace Area, where there is also the central Banyan tree and the Amphitheatre with its urn, housing the soil of nations from all over the world. The Mother was very practical and had a strong sense of order. She wanted everything to be in its place and envisaged four zones in her dream city. Zoning was still very much in fashion in the sixties, but is currently largely out of favor with town-planners all over the world. Naturally, opinions differ on the matter in Auroville as well, but efforts are ongoing to comply with the original idea in a wholesome way. These zones - cultural, residential, international and industrial - could possibly be seen as areas where a particular type of atmosphere would be created and nurtured. Zoning may be the way by which these atmospheres - or vibrations - can be protected.
As per the original concept then, the activities of the Cultural Zone represent unending education; those of the International Zone show acceptance of Auroville's universality; those of the Industrial Zone emphasize the importance of a strong economic base; those of the Residential Zone the realization of human oneness; those of the Green Belt the manifestation of environmental, economic and spiritual values as well as material sustainability.