The City Area’s Four Zones

In accordance with The Mother’s plan, the City Area is composed of four sections surrounding the Matrimandir Peace Area & the City Centre. They are the Residential, Cultural, International, and Industrial zones.


The Residential Zone

Largest of the four sections, the Residential Section is situated between Maheshwari Park and Mahalakshmi Park.  An area for residing, and refreshing and revitalizing life energy – one’s own and the community’s – this is the purpose of the Residential section of Auroville. 

Obviously, the Residential Zone seeks the ideal balance between open landscapes and built-up areas, art and architecture, ethics and aesthetics, open space and density. 

“Lines of Force” is one of the major implementing concepts of buildings gradually growing in density and height. 

The Residential Zone actually began to take shape only after 1990 when a number of communities such as Samasti, Vikas, Grace, Surrender were planned and launched by Auroville architects.  At present, this zone consists of residential communities with varying shapes and sizes, mostly apartments but also individual houses. Two of them – Vikas and Realisation – are built using earth as the raw material as conceived by the Auroville Earth Institute. In fact, with its 4 floors, Vikas community is perhaps the tallest example of modern earth-architecture in the world. 

The Residential Zone also houses the Solar Kitchen Dining Room, the Pour Tous Distribution Service (PTDC), The Santé Institute for Integrative Health, Arka Guest House with the Mahalakshmi Senior’s Home and Auroville’s main Library.

The Cultural Zone

The word “Culture” has to be understood in its deeper sense.   In “The Human Cycle”, Sri Aurobindo makes a clear distinction between “the modern civilized barbarian” gradually evolving into “the sensational man” … “who has got awakened to the necessity at least of some intelligent use of the higher faculties and is trying to be mentally active.” Sri Aurobindo concludes: “…even the sensational man has begun to undergo a process of transformation. Especially, new methods of education, new principles of society are beginning to come into the range of practical possibility which will create perhaps one day that as yet unknown phenomenon, a race of men – not only a class – who have to some extent found and developed their mental selves, a cultured humanity.” 

Auroville’s Cultural Zone includes educational undertakings such as Future School, Transition school, Sports Ground, Youth Center, Language Lab, Kalabhumi. 

The International Zone

Sri Aurobindo: “The nation or society, like the individual, has a body, an organic life, a moral and aesthetic temperament, a developing mind and a soul behind all these signs and powers for the sake of which they exist. One may say even that, like the individual, it essentially is a soul rather than has one; it is a group-soul that, once having attained to a separate distinctness, must become more and more self-conscious and find itself more and more fully as it develops its corporate action and mentality and its organic self-expressive life.” 

Expressing these different souls and their contributions to civilization, along with activities promoting international understanding and unity and peace is the raison d’être of the International Zone.

Currently,  the main buildings at the heart of this zone are: 

  • Bharat Nivas (which includes Kalakendra Art Exhibition Hall, and the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium)  
  • Savitri Bhavan (with its collection of the original Savitri artwork created by disciple Huta for The Mother) 
  • The Unity Pavilion – a catalyst for the future national pavilions.  It also houses one of the world’s three Peace tables created by disciple and expert woodcrafter, George Nakashima. 
  • The Pavilion of the Tibetan Culture 
  • Auroville Visitors’ Centre 

Both Savitri Bhavan and Unity Pavilion are the site for numerous talks, conferences and training courses.  The Unity Pavilion also hosts the annual “Art for Land” exhibition and events cycle, a platform for artistic excellence and a sub-action of the “Acres for Auroville” campaign.

The Industrial Zone

Sections like industries which participate actively will contribute part of their income towards the development of the township.

What is true is that materially every human being has the right—but it is not a ‘right’… The organisation should be such, should be so arranged, that the material needs of everyone are assured, not according to ideas of rights and equality, but on the basis of the minimum needs. And once that is established, each one should be free to organise his life according to—not according to his financial means, but his inner capacities.

The Mother

Some of the significant features of the Industrial Zone include the Auroville Earth Institute, the Center for Scientific Research (CSR), and a number of small scale manufacturing units such as Shraddhanjali which manufactures artistic utility items;  and Colours of Nature – a natural fabric dying unit.

Photos of the City Area’s Four Zones


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