C.E.U.’s Cuban Chapter launch document declares that the Chapter:

-acknowledges and supports the urban traditions of the country and their good practices along centuries with mostly a European influence, thus it is committed to preserve them and apply them to new developments to foster historical continuity. 

-believes that everything is connected with everything else so it advocates the reconciliation of both human needs and ecological imperatives. It is against the waste of natural and cultural resources derived from sprawl and the erosion of society’s built heritage. It is also against any racial, social or cultural segregation and the loss of cultural identity. 

-honors all principles stated in both the Charter for European Urbanism and The Charter of the New Urbanism but incorporates those suitable for our country.

-perceives itself as part of a long tradition in Urbanism spanning through five centuries with mostly a European influence. 

-is aware that Cuban cities have not undergone the traumatic processes of urban renewal and destruction that most cities in the world have for still intact inner city cores are a distinct Cuban feature to be protected as well as their environs and countryside.

-stands for the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments and the preservation of our built legacy.

-advocates the restructuring of public policy and development practices in order to achieve diverse communities designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car. 

The 2003 Havana Declaration (see note 3) states that its citizens have a right to:

1.socially integrated housing.

2.public and semi-public transportation. This includes buses supplemented by a fleet of taxis.

3.the fulfillment of ordinary needs within five minutes’ walking from home. These needs include the food store, child care, primary school and a park.

4.drinking water and a functioning sewer system.

5.access to the sea.

6.social use (public access) of the best buildings.

7.the predictable evolution of the city.

8.the preservation of cultural assets.

9.buildings with natural ventilation.

10. pedestrian-friendly streets.

11. a city both clean and safe.

12. a city shaded by trees and illuminated by night.

13. night life.

14. streets as an aesthetic experience.

15. regulations that are intelligible, and the right to having them explained.

16. participate in the municipal decision-making process at the neighborhood level.

17. private projects yielding public benefit.

Second Havana Harbour Charrette - March 2008

Apr 9, 2011

John H. Pilling Home../John_H_Pilling/about_JHP.html

The Cuban and Norwegian chapters of C.E.U. - Council for European Urbanism

Planning GoalsGoals.html
Study AreasAreas.html
Events & Processprocess.html
Design Studies & Recommendationsrecommendations-1.html
Conclusions & Notesconclusions.html

   This thought is shared among the Charrette organizers as they consider their work on the two C.E.U. charrettes already conducted and as they make plans for 2009.

As with so many once-thriving industrial harbours throughout the world, Havana’s port confronts a host of problems which include:

-centuries old pollution exacerbated by the minimal natural turnover of its waters;

-aged and obsolete industries and energy infrastructure;

-dock facilities rendered obsolete by their incapability of servicing Panamax and post Panamax shipping;

-insensitive modernizing development common to so many cities now as a result of the pressures of the global economy.

Official plans have been conducted for Havana as a region (the first in the 16th century) and there are some studies for its harbour, but there is no visionary document for Havana Harbour comparable to those developed for many of the other historic harbours of the world.

“Like you, I would like to help the people who live in Cuba maintain control over their own environment.” 

The ground work for the charrettes started separately on two sides of the Atlantic

Cuban architect Julio César Perez began to work on a document titled ‘A Master Plan for XXI Century Havana’ during his Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 2001 and 2002.  In 2003 Norwegian lawyer Audun Engh  joined 60 others in Stockholm, Sweden to finalize and sign the Charter for European Urbanism (the Charter of Stockholm), which created the Council for European Urbanism.  He became C.E.U.’s secretary.

Individually, both the lawyer and architect understood the challenges experienced by cities worldwide, and they saw the affinity between cities in Europe and cities inspired, founded and influenced  by Europe, such as Havana.   Audun’s nascent C.E.U. stated the importance of dealing with “the conversion of dis-used industrial and military sites that have resulted from the economic conversion.” (see note 1) Havana Harbour is just such a site.  Julio César expressed his belief  “One of the key aspects [of the regeneration of Havana Harbour] is to turn the current industrial character of the harbour into a sport and recreational one allowing at the same time for the increase of public space in its entire perimeter and the creation of new mixed use areas.... .” (see note 2)  

These individual beliefs lead Audun and Julio César to meet at international conferences and to realize their common interests..  As a result the Charrette idea was firstly conceived in 2005 at the C.E.U. Congress in Berlin and later followed up through 2006 and publicly announced at the Venice Charter Revisited International Conference held in Venice, Italy and at the Sustainable Urbanism International Conference held in Leeds, England also in 2006.

Through the good work of Audun, Julio César, and the Charrette’s other organizer, Norwegian architect Claus Zapffe,  C.E.U.’s First Havana Harbor Charrette took place successfully in 2007. Major accomplishments in addition to the design proposals included the creation of the C.E.U. Cuban Chapter and its launch document.

The Charrette’s participants agreed to do their work in concordance with a declaration created in Havana in 2003 that Julio César presented.  Also important was a solid argument from Adrian Lee entitled “Sunken Treasure” concluding that the principles applied to the regeneration of Havana harbour could be applied to the rest of the city.

All the Charrette projects are documented on the C.E.U. website, created and maintained by Claus Zapffe. 

This report records the results C.E.U.’s second Charrette.   C.E.U.’s third charrette is in March 2009.  It is taking active steps to make its goals of Havana Harbour being redeveloped in accordance with the principles of European Urbanism and the “Masterplan for XXI Century Havana,” more widely known

Background & Purpose

Planning GoalsGoals.html
Study AreasAreas.html
Events & Process../Havana_Harbour_Charrette/Process.html
Design Studies & Recommendationsrecommendations-1.html
Conclusions & Notesconclusions.html
Next PageGoals.html

-believes that cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions and that urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history and local culture, geography and building practice.

-is composed of multidisciplinary professionals committed to reestablishing the relationship between the art of building and the making of community within a coherent and supportive physical framework and welcomes institutional and professional relationships with similar organizations throughout the world.

U.S. Library of Congress Photo

U.S. Library of Congress Photo