Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC)

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Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC), also known as L'Avenir d'Auroville, is Auroville's town planning body.

L'Avenir d'Auroville / TDC
Mandate 2007
LAvenir dAuroville TDC Mandate 2007.jpg
PDF (5 pages)
      Constitution of Auroville TDC
(Standing Order of 4th June 2019)
TDC Standing Order 2019-06-04.jpg
PDF (5 pages)
      Application process
TDC Application process 08-2020.jpg

ATDC logo.jpg

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2022 ATDC of Secretary's office: G. Seetharaman, Govind Rajan, Hemant Shekhar, Jaya Berggreen-Clausen, Ponnusamy Murugesan, Prasad, Sindhuja, Toby, (resource persons: Jacqueline, Lakshay, Helmut)
ATDC of Residents' Assembly: Allan B., Anan, Divya L., Dorle, Fabian O., Island, Lata, Meera Umaramanan, Natasha, Tom
2021 Anbu, Debrabata, Sreevatsa, Toby, Vidya, (Elaine, Lakshay, Saravanan)
2020 Anbu, Lakshay, Saravanan, Sreevatsa, Toby
2019 Anita, Jef, Saravanan, Sreevatsa, Tejaswini
2018 Anita, Anu, Aurovici, Divya, Inge, Pino, Sindhuja, Tejaswini
2017 Cristo, Jacqueline, Sauro, Tom


Auroville planning bodies 1968-2007

(Gilles G. of Auroville Archives:)

In December 1975 Roger Anger wrote a letter in which he stated that he was "withdrawing from all Auroville activities". He acted on it. Nobody knew whether he would come back to Auroville and, if so when.

In 1985 a group of Aurovilians (developers and environmentalists) came together and started the Auroville Resource Centre (A.R.C.). Soon it received a grant from the GoI under the name: Centre for Urban Development.

Roger and Jacqueline started visiting Auroville again in February 1985 during the celebration of the International Youth Year in Auroville. In September 1987, a very well attended marathon meeting handed back to Roger the responsibility of completing Matrimandir. Piero was entrusted with the completion of the inner chamber.

In March 1988 some of Roger's supporters took over A.R.C. and renamed it ‘Auroville's Future’.

Constitution of L'avenir d'Auroville (2008)

On March 7th 2008 with Standing Order 1/2008[1] the Auroville Governing Board formally approved the constitution of L'avenir d'Auroville. On the same date, with Office Order No 135[2] the names of the members were announced, their term of office will be for 2 years from the date of notification:

1 Mr. Toby Neuman
2 Mr. Pino Marchese
3 Mr. Lalit Kishor Bhati
4 Mr. Sauro Mezetti
5 Mr. Prasant Hedao
6 Mr. M. Ponnuswamy
7 Mr. M. Rathinam
8 Mr. Luigi Zanzi
9 Ms. Tine Zimm
10 Mr. Kalyan Nag

Second L'avenir d'Auroville, Constitution of Auroville Town Development Council (2010)

On June 1st 2010 an office order was released by the Auroville Foundation in which new members of L'avenir d'Auroville/TDC were announced:

Planning Section:
1 Cristo
2 Gilles G.
3 Jacqueline
4 Lata
5 Mona
6 Pierre L.
7 Sauro
Development Section:
8 Andy
9 Gerard M.
10 Ponnuswami
Administrative Section:
11 Anandi
12 Charles A.
13 Min
Communication Platform:
14 Ashatit
15 Renu
16 Rolf

During their tenure, on May 1st 2011, standing order 6/2011 was released by the Governing Board[3] titled "CONSTITUTION OF AUROVILLE TOWN DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL".

Third L'avenir d'Auroville (2012)

On November 1st 2012, Office Order No.311[4] was issued with approval of the Governing Board announcing new members of Auroville Town Development Council:

Name Community in Auroville Responsibilities
1 Mr. Sauro Mezzetti Grace Overall Co-ordination & Facilitation
2 Ms. Nicole Mischler Gaia Socio-economic Planning
3 Mr. Gilles Guigan Samasti Town Planning
4 Ms. Jacqueline Laqoste Auromodel Urban Design
5 Mr. Toby Neumann Aurogreen Township Development
6 Mr. Cristo Mabillat Revelation Regional Development
7 Mr. Jean Francois Piot Sharnga Administration, Accounts & Reporting
8 Mr. P. Sathyamoorthy (Kalya) Shakti Fund Raising and Networking
9 Mr. Friedrich Schulze Buxloh (Frederick) Citadines Representative of Working Committee

The term of office was set to be 4 (four) years with effect from Oct. 24, 2012.

Restructuring TDC (2016)

The Working Committee published a proposal for change of TDC in News and Notes 633 of January 23th 2016[5] and promised to invite Aurovilians for a General Meeting to discuss the proposal. The Working Committee would like to communicate the decision of the Residents’ Assembly to the Governing Board for its meeting in March. Main takeaways of the proposal:

  1. Hiring the Vastu Shilpa Foundation to make a detailed development plan of the Galaxy
  2. The community will set-up a 12-15 person group of Auroville residents to act as ‘interface’ between the community and the Vastu Shilpa Foundation
  3. The 12-15 person client-body, along with the Vastu Shilpa Foundation will prepare a proposal on how the present TDC and the Auroville Technical Planning Office will function
  4. The present TDC consisting of Sauro, Toby, Cristo and Jacqueline, will continue to function, with limited responsibilities and in close coordination with the Client Body

In News and Notes 644 of April 6th 2016, the Working Committee published a report[6]

6. Restructuring the TDC. The Board was informed about the new proposal of the Working Committee for the restructuring of the TDC. This proposal was discussed in a general meeting at the end of which the Working Committee, after hearing various views and objections, proposed a one-day retreat to further discuss the proposal. At the time of writing of this report, the retreat is in preparation.

The process of restructuring TDC was inconclusive, in N&N 648 7 May 2016 a call for nominating interim members for L'avenir d'Auroville was published jointly by Auroville Council and Working Committee[7]. There would be no community decision process for selecting these members:

The interim members will be chosen by the Auroville Council and the Working Committee through consensus from the list of names received from the community.

Auroville Council and Working Committee requested to submit nominations before May 18th, 2016.

Interim TDC (2016)

The Working Committe and the Auroville Council formed an Interim TDC in May 2016[8]. The interim members were appointed for 6 months from May 23rd onwards[9]:

1 Divia L.
2 Sheba
3 Tejaswini
4 Fabian
5 Pino
6 Tom

They worked alongside the continuing members of the previous TDC:

7 Sauro
8 Toby
9 Jacqueline
10 Cristo

The term of office of Sauro, Toby, Jacqueline and Cristo ended on October 24th 2016. On request of the Working Committee, they agreed to continue until a new TDC has been constituted. The interim members are also asked to continue, they also agree to continue, except Sheba who wished to stop at December 31st, 2016. The Working Committee appointed Sauro, Toby, Jacqueline, Cristo, Divya, Tom, Fabian, Pino, Sheba and Tejaswini to serve as member of the iTDC untill a new TDC has been formed or till April 1, 2017, whichever date was the earlier[10].

The Auroville Council continued to work on a selection process for a new TDC[11].

New TDC Selection Process (2017)

The Working Committee reported[12] that on March 16th, 2017 a General Meeting was organized at the Unity Pavilion where approximately 75 residents were present. A recommended structure for TDC/L’avenir and a proposal for the selection process were presented. On Monday 24th April 2017 a follow-up General Meeting was organized[13]. This GM would be followed by a RAD which was organised by RAS.

The RAS conducted a Residents voting process in May 2017 and the new structure and the terms of reference (ToR) proposed for TDC were ratified. The selection process was planned for October 2017, the newly appointed team would take office by November 2017[14].

In a three-day selection process on October 20th, 21st and 22nd, a new TDC team was selected. Auroville Council announced these members as "the new interface team"[15]:

1 Anita
2 Anu
3 Aurovici
4 Divya
5 Inge
6 Pino
7 Sindhuja
8 Tejaswini

Resignations and interim members (2018)

In News and Notes 779, 31 December 2018, the Auroville Council and the Working Committee announced[16] that 5 members had resigned. They decided on three actions:

  1. Appointment of Selvam R, Sreevatsa and Srimoyi as interim members whose term of office was to expire when the final team was appointed, which was expected by April 1, 2019
  2. A subgroup would be formed to investigate why members had resigned their membership of L'Avenir; why the aims and objectives were not followed as expected when the present team was appointed; what the community could realistically expect from L'Avenir
  3. The interim members can be nominated for the selection of the final team of L’Avenir in March, 2019

The subgroup reported in March 2019[17] that:

  • Team dynamics were difficult from the start, with clashes of personality and differing views on basic principles and priorities. This may have lead to a number of resignations within the team, and may have contributed to long absences by some members, and an apparent lack of commitment by others.
  • Although there was basic understanding of their mandate, there was little attempt made to follow it.
  • Other problematic factors were lack of funding, lack of competence in both the interface and technical teams. Interference by to the 50th Anniversary celebrations took a lot of energy away from the main work.

The report listed a set of 12 recommendations to make sure in future L’avenir d’Auroville/TDC can work together and deliver.

New standing order (2019)

A new standing order is approved by the Auroville Governing Board and published on June 4th 2019, Standing Order No. 1/2019[18]. It replaces Standing Order No. 6/2011 dated 01-05-2011[19]. In the 2011 standing order, the Governing Board nominates Shri Batakrishna Doshi as a member of the council. This new standing order this nomination is replaced by:

The Governing Board shall nominate their nominee in the Town Development Council.

Main principles and tasks are:

  • Maximum of 15 members who must be Residents of Auroville (whose names are mentioned in the Register of Residents)
  • One Chairperson, one Member-Secretary and one Member in charge of Finance & Accounts
  • Term of office is 4 years
  • Six months before the expiry of each 4 year term, the new members of the Council will be nominated
  • Membership maximum 2 terms in succession
  • Members of the Council will be appointed by the Governing Board in consultation with the Residents Assembly through the Working Committee.
  • Ensure that the Township is planned, developed and built generally according to the “Galaxy Concept”
  • Prepare and approve plans, review and update the Master Plan every 15 years with the first such review to take place in 2025
  • Prepare and implement communication and consultation processes that encourage an active, constructive and participatory involvement of Auroville residents in the implementation of the Master Plan
  • The Governing Board will constitute the TDC Advisory Group (TAG)
  • The Council shall be accountable to the Governing Board, through the Working Committee
  • The Council shall also submit a faithful and true account of its activities to the Residents’ Assembly, through the Working Committee
  • The Council shall publish an annual report on the progress in implementing the Master Plan.
  • Since the name “L’avenir d’Auroville” was given by the Mother for the Township Planning, developing and building the organisation; the Council shall retain it and may use the expression “Auroville Town Development Council – L’avenir d’Auroville” in its internal communications.
  • This Standing Order is issued with the approval of Chairman, Auroville Foundation and shall come into force with immediate effect

Funding Problems

In the first update since a long time, L'avenir/TDC updates the community in News & Notes 827 18 July 2020[20]. Along with funding problems, there are since February 2019 only 2 interface members remaining: Saravanan and Sreevatsa. The Working Committee and Auroville Council are working to finalize the selection process for new Interface Team members.

Office Order 491/2021 (2021)

The Working Committee interviewed new members for the vacancies of interim members for the Interface Team of TDC on 3 and 4 November 2020. On July 14th 2021, the Working Committee communicated to the Secretary the candidates[21]. On July 15th 2021, the Auroville Foundation Secretary released office order 491/2021[22] with subject: Re-Constitution of the Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC). In this Office Order, the under Secretary:

  1. References Standing Order 6/2011 dated 1st May 2011 which was already replaced by Standing Order 1/2019.
  2. Mentions the date of reception of candidates (July 14th 2021)
  3. The Secretary reconstitutes, after careful consideration the Auroville Town Development Council with Anbu, Toby, Saravannan, Sreevatsa, Lakshay
  4. The Working Committee recommends to nominate Elaine
  5. On behalf of the Secretary, Debabrata Saboo is nominated
  6. Vidya is nominated as apprentice
  7. The term of office shall be 2 years from date of issue (15th July 2021)

The Office Order was issued with the approval of Secretary, Auroville Foundation, no mentioning of the Governing Board (whose end of tenure was on November 22nd 2020).

Name Community in Auroville
1 Shri. Anbu Velayudam
2 Shri. Toby Neumann
3 Shri. Saravanan Mahalingam
4 Shri Sreevastsa Rameshbabu Govindass
5 Shri Lakshay Dharan
6 Ms. Elaine Catherine Phillips Auromodele
7 Shri. Debabrata Sahoo Kalpana
8 Ms. Vidya Angurajan (apprentice) Udavi School


The legitimacy of the ATDC was questioned after a publication in News & Notes 887 September 9th 2021 from the Auroville Council (AVC). In their "Follow up on ATDC membership observations" regarding the selection process of the ATDC and the office order 491/2021[23], they pointed out that:

  1. Mid 2020 AVC and WCom jointly started a sub-group to prepare the TDC selection process. AVC withdrew from this in 2020 because the subgroup focused on an interim selection process, WCom went ahead. AVC did not object against the interim solution.
  2. During the interim process, it was decided to extend the interim members term from 1 year to 2.5 years.
  3. The final selection of interim members was done by WCom, therefore, much of the present ATDC reflected in the Office Order 2021 was not appointed by a community ratified process.
  4. After selection of interim members, AVC was part of the TDC selection process subgroup from March-July 2021. Suddenly WCom informed AVC that the TDC selection subgroup was suspended. Shortly thereafter the new Office Order 2021[24] was issued.

The AVC concludes: Understanding the events that led to the interim selections for ATDC, and then the extension via the Office Order 2021, without the appropriate involvement of the RA, we recommend that more scrutiny is applied to the events where due steps for selection may not have been considered, and the reasons why this happen."

General Meeting

In a General Meeting in Unity Pavilion on September 10th 2021 where ATDC presented a plan to implement the Crown, some community members voiced their dissatisfaction with the ATDC selection process and appointments. The WCom (Anu and Sauro) in an immediate reaction promised to organize a General Meeting to the subject.

  1. File:TDCStandingOrder 01 07-03-2008.pdf
  2. File:TDCOfficeOrder No135 07-03-2008.pdf
  3. File:TDC Standing Order 2011-05-01.pdf
  4. File:TDC Office Order 2012.pdf
  5. News & Notes 633:Restructuring TDC/L’avenir
  6. News_&_Notes_644:Report_from_the_Working_Committee#Meetings_Governing_Board_and_International_Advisory_Council
  7. News & Notes 648:Call for Interim Members for l'Avenir d'Auroville – Town Development Council
  8. News & Notes 661:AVC Report for the months of May, June and July
  9. News & Notes 673:Report of the Working Committee for October 2016
  10. News & Notes 673:Report of the Working Committee for October 2016
  11. News & Notes 687:Auroville Council Report for November, December 2016 and January 2017
  12. News & Notes 694:Working Committee report March 2017
  13. News & Notes 699:Auroville Council Report for February, March and April, 2017
  14. News & Notes 711:Auroville Council Report for May, June and July 2017
  15. News & Notes 726:Auroville Council Report for August, September And October 2017
  16. News & Notes 779:L’Avenir d’Auroville – Interim members – investigation into the difficulties
  17. News & Notes 791:Report: Exploration into L’Avenir since its selection in 2017
  18. File:TDC Standing Order 2019-06-04.pdf
  19. File:TDC Standing Order 2011-05-01.pdf
  20. News & Notes 827:Update from L’Avenir/TDC
  21. File:Office order ATDC 15 07 2021.pdf
  22. File:Office order ATDC 15 07 2021.pdf
  23. File:Office order ATDC 15 07 2021.pdf
  24. File:Office order ATDC 15 07 2021.pdf


  • Office: Town Hall, second floor, Mon - Sat, 9:00-12:30 and 1:30-5:00pm
  • Phone: 262-3568, 262-2170
  • E-mail: avenir (at)

See also

External links