RA TDC updates and direction

Nov 3, 2022 | Planning & development, Statements by the RA and the Working groups

This is a brief recap of what we presented at the recent Working Group General Meeting that was held on the 17th of October, including a response to some feedback at the end.

Firefighting: Navigating, reporting & responding to emergency situations
There are a number of actions being taken by the Office of the Secretary and those illegitimately appointed by them, which go against the community’s values and processes, the Foundation Act and the National Green Tribunal judgement. We continue to show up, document and challenge attempts to enforce a narrow vision of ‘progress’ onto Auroville. This is intense, uncomfortable work which seems necessary to navigate the hostile environment that is trying to undermine and literally bulldoze the role of Aurovilians and our collective work.

Examples of recent actions that go against Auroville include: undisclosed contracts with the Central Public Works Department, the ‘approval’ of projects in the absence of proper plans or valid status and unauthorised clearing works at Existence and Bliss forests.

Although “No Objection Certificates” (NOCs) cannot be issued at this time (due to NGT legal judgement) – approved and proposed projects can feed into, and be incorporated into the proper planning. Proposals and projects will be reviewed and categorised as part of a detailed planning stage. So, please keep sending us your project proposals even if they cannot be implemented for the time being.

Looking ahead: Proper and Participative Planning
We are meeting with technical persons and people with planning experience to bring together an informed roadmap for Auroville’s planning and development. Some of the elements to be included are:
-Auroville principles and processes;
-State and national requirements for planning and environment;
-Documents and plans that are relevant to the process (some are done, some not yet);
-Securing teams to help us take up the planning work in a participative way.

We as the TDC are holding the proper planning process for now, but any collaborative planning body could carry it out: We are just trying to make sure it happens.

We will be using and updating previously approved documents and processes such as:

– 2017 RAD
Planning principles
Draft Terms of Reference (ToR)
Organisation of the TDC as an interface team
– The Masterplan Perspective 2025, draft DDPs, other documents

Collaborative workshops and meetings with the community:

– To give an insight into what proper planning means and entails for Auroville
– To clarify that planning is complex but is there to reach implementation
– To update existing planning documents
– To collaborate
– To make sure planning relates to Auroville’s unique history and purpose

The end goal is implementation in a collaborative manner

From feedback obtained after the General Meeting:

We would like to clarify that good planning is not a fixed constraint, but rather a direction that can be arrived at collaboratively, and is periodically revised and evolving.

Flexibility is to be built into the plans for Auroville, not just in the process of their creation.

This is to say that planning should allow diversity of expression, experimentation and playfulness according to what Auroville stands for.

What this will, hopefully, help with is that we arrive at planning practices that we can agree on before we get to the implementation stage of a project.

To meet us, we are at Koodam on Wednesdays: 10-12:30 or email: [email protected]

In community,
Allan, Anan, Divya L., Dorle, Fabian, Island, Lata, Meera N., Natasha, Tom