Auroville has received the unanimous endorsement of the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1966, 1968 and 1970. The late Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, described Auroville as "an exciting project for bringing about harmony among different cultures, and for understanding the environmental needs of man's spiritual growth." In 1988 the Government of India passed the Auroville Foundation Act to safeguard the development of Auroville as per its Charter.
Today Auroville is a growing community of about 1,100 people from more than 30 countries. As a "place of an unending education and constant progress", Auroville has grown over the past 27 years into a community with multifarious activities, such as environmental regeneration, organic farming, alternative energy, village development, theatre, music, and art. Many of these activities are highly successful, though there are some constraints.
Government and NGO's in India and abroad have funded various development programmes. Contributions have also been given by foundations in Europe and the United States, by Auroville International Centres, and by private donors from all over the world. The Aurovilians themselves have made a major contribution in terms of resources and energy to the Auroville project.
The original town plan of Auroville is based on a spiral galaxy model. It provides for four zones - Cultural, Industrial, International and Residential - which are gradually starting to take shape.
Auroville has gained national and international acclaim for its land reclamation and reforestation work. More than 2,500 acres of near desert and visibly dying land have been transformed into a lush green area. Comprehensive contouring and the building of small check-dams have significantly enhanced the life-support potential of the whole area, conserving soil and water. Over 2 million forest trees, fruit, and fuel trees have been planted.
Auroville's development is inextricably intertwined with that of more than 20 villages that are situated in the same area, which were once classified as backward by the Tamil Nadu government. Auroville, by setting up local peoples committees is engaged in a co-evolution development programme for the whole bio-region in various spheres of life.