Auroville is remarkably similar to what Kautilya has suggested way back in the fourth century BC on how a town or city should be planned. Kautilya is regarded as the father of political science. First and foremost, unlike the emphasis on GDP, the productive capital, Kautilya clearly recognised the role of forests, water bodies, and mountains etc as frontiers and collective wealth. The arthashastra recognised that waste (pollution) must be disposed in a proper way so as not to affect the environment. Arthashashtra suggests that the city be divided into four concentric circles. The main city is located at the centre and should have perennial source of water. Surrounding this central city are the villages located amidst the mixed land use — pastures, agriculture. Forests for recreation and economic benefits formed the outskirts of the settlement. The forest based industries are suggested to be located adjacent to the forests and settlement area. The forests in wilderness formed the outermost concentric circle and these have to be protected. These forests were occupied by tribes with traditional knowledge and enjoyed de facto rights on the forests.
Rediscovering Eco-cities — Is this Possible in the Era of Globalization? | The Nature of Cities