On the 2nd of March '02 Mr. Sven
Palmkvist, chief city planner of Halmstad, Sweden, gave an
account of how a Master plan is prepared in Sweden.
Halmstad is a municipality with a
population of 85.000 with 60.000 in the town proper. The plan
for the city center dates back to 1619 and has remained intact
since then. The town has a university with about 7000 students.
No detailed report will here be given on Sven's account of the
working process in Sweden, since that would demand too much
space. However, it can be briefly mentioned that out of the
various criteria for the Master plan, environment is the most
important. The Master plan is reviewed every 4th year, but the
process of reviewing is naturally continuous throughout the
mandate period. In the planning process many are involved,
politicians, pressure groups, the public and officials.
The most important points of the
Master plan are: Structure, Flexibility, Implementation in
stages, Economy, Ecology, Further expansion.
In regard to movement the
important points are: Structures on all levels, Principles
for movement, Public transport, Pedestrian areas and cyclist
The social master plan contains
points such as: Schools, Hospitals, Elder care, Plan for
Don't know areas
Sven's experience was that once 10%
is built of a project the rest will work itself out in a
piecemeal manner. Consequently, he continued, "one can't expect that the entire original idea is realised. It is
important that 'don't know' areas are included which, in time,
may develop according to demand."
What kind of life quality do we want?
Concerning Auroville, Sven's primary
question was: What kind of life quality do you want? He felt
that we first of all should pay attention to our movement
structure since that is the crucial issue. He proposed mixed
land uses and vibrant urban meeting points in all zones. He felt
that we should not construct multi-storied buildings since
people in general don't want to live in them; he also observed
that the sense of community that he appreciated in Auroville
could be lost with a population above 20.000.
Sven was very impressed by Auroville and all the energy that
goes into developing the township. He was deeply touched by the
Dawnfire on the 28th as well.
Development plans & parameters
For our next session Lalit from the
Planning group has been invited to speak about the development
plans which he is evolving as a part of the Asia Urbs sponsored
projects in Auroville.
The Study Circle's concerns are
with the parameters for such development plans. For almost one
year now, we have revolved our studies around different
principles of the urban fabric and parameters that could be
applied to different concepts of planning. The coming session is
thought of as an open debate where we can match the outcome of
our Study Circle discussions with the parameters that now are
applied in designing development plans for Auroville.
for the Study Circle team