Havana-Patrimony, Patience and Progress: Urban Planning and Historic Preservation in Cuba

Panel Discussion Fri 7 Dec 2001
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Cuban planners, architects, and preservationists discuss the present and future of the city of Havana. Joined by counterparts in the United States who compare the issues in Cuba with their own experiences in the United States.

Historic Preservation: The recent renovation of historic Havana is amazing, but how has it been supported given Cuba' economic hardships? How can it keep up with the deterioration caused by decades of neglect? Will it go beyond the neighborhoods favored by tourists?

Architecture in Cuba Today: What noteworthy has been built in Havana in the last five years? Is there "new" Cuban architecture? Who do the architects work for? Can non-Cuban architects work there? What is the state of architectural education?

City Planning: What are the priorities, not only for Old Havana but for the entire city? How are planners facing the daunting obstacles of crumbling infrastructure, inadequate transportation, and limited technological capabilities combined with a growing population that needs housing, schools, and public facilities. Is Havana ready for the 21st Century?

Leland Cott, Harvard University, AIA, planner
Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of the city of Havana
Mario Coyula Cowley, urban planner
Victor Marin Crespo, architect
Peg Breen, President, New York Landmarks Conservancy