On the 16th of November 11 people
attended the session.
We continued to look at the list of
performance criteria (a few of them were published in our previous
report in AVNews no. 912). Some points emerged that helped
us to approach the criteria: the need for concentrated
development, the value of incremental growth, the importance of
the public place and the challenge to define the Crown.
Some of comments on these points were:
The scattered development we have in AV is a sign of inadequate
communication. In order to develop in an integrated way. AV
needs improved communication skills. Our motorbike culture is
symptomatic of our lack of urban culture and pedestrian areas.
The answer to this situation is to develop a more dense urban
fabric starting from focal points, public spaces, and from there
develop areas step by step. An ordered development of this kind
is also necessary for responding to problems such as traffic and
Monolithic development may have certain aesthetic qualities as
an art form viewed at some distance but it does little to help
life. On the other hand, a piecemeal development can respond to
the needs of life and changing times. It can give opportunity to
architecture. By developing in small sections, block by block,
or in smaller parts, a conscious whole can be created that is
based on a successive integration of different elements.
The public place can mean many things. Obviously a cultural
centre or a space around a fountain. Or a street that allows for
unplanned social encounters. It is of course also a park or a
sport ground. Another is a place where people go for a chat over
a drink. But it can also be a working place.
The public place play a very important part in the life of the
youth. It can easily be a combination of different things that
bring a cross-section of the residents together. Physically it
can be a focal point that is also architecturally useful as a
valuable landmark. All these places for collective interaction
are necessary, both socially and for exploring the drama of
Attention need to be given to further definition of the Crown.
The planning will have to become more precise, what are the
uses, what is the relation to the zone areas and to the city as
whole, and what are the patterns of movement on the Ring road?
Does the Crown form various city centres at different points?
How are they integrated into the general fabric? One should not
litter the Crown with random developments merely as a result of
Integration is no doubt the key to create a successful living
environment. How are things to be related to each other in order
to help Auroville grow as an urban experiment? How are the
concentrated development, the public spaces, private spaces,
streets, greenery, the Crown to be integrated in a piecemeal
manifestation giving place for both public influence and urban
With the purpose of exploring this challenge, we will now
attempt an exercise in designing - in stages - a selected area
in the Residential zone, including part of the Crown. The
sketches will be done in a spirit of research and study. We are
interested in possibilities, not in immediate end results.
On Friday the 30th of November we will
meet to look at some design attempts made by Dominic.