Since the Cuban revolution in 1959, Havana has been stuck in time. While the city has decayed, little has been either completely destroyed or rebuilt. The result is a crumbling urban jewel. The city now faces a huge pent-up demand for new housing, infrastructure, and commercial space. With the thawing of U.S.–Cuban relations, in tandem with growing economic reform, Havana will undergo major changes in the coming years. But whether the city can modernize while also preserving its unique character is an open question.
This event brings together four leading Cuban thinkers to present different perspectives on Havana’s future. Miguel Coyula will first frame the city’s current choices in a historical context; Patricia Rodriguez will then showcase the impressive restoration efforts in Old Havana; and Orlando Inclan and Claudia Castillo will present new proposals for Havana’s harbor and ways of involving the public in determining the city’s future. The presentations will be followed by a discussion, moderated by Michael Hooper, associate professor of urban planning at Harvard GSD.