mandag 16. november 2009


INTBAU Cuba and INTBAU Scandinavia in partnership with the Academy of Urbanism (UK) C.E.U. Norway and C.E.U. Cuba invite you to the:

2010 Havana Urban Design Charrette

22 to 27 March 2010.


The 2010 International Charrette will build on our work from 2007, 2008 and 2009. International architects and planners are invited to join Cuban experts and local communities for a one-week charrette 22nd – 27th March 2010 to develop proposals for the regeneration and development of the Waterfront area of Old Havana, Casablanca, a small marine town across from Old Havana, and East Havana.

The charrette will fit both educational and professional purposes and will give participants an introduction to the history of Havana’s cultural heritage, through a close contact with its traditions, architecture and urbanism. The charrette seeks the participation of individuals who share a respectful attitude to new interventions in historical contexts, and value the creation of places where human beings can live, work and enjoy: A contemporary city that respects and values tradition, order and urbanity, and honors the culture of cities.

Who is it for: Architects, planners, art historians, antiquarians, writers, students and others with an interest in the history, traditions and the culture of Cuba.

Participants are responsible for their own travel to Cuba, accommodation and meals. We can assist with arranging accommodation for you, either in private apartments (Casa Particular) or in an international style hotel.

For a report on the 2009 charrette, please go to : ,

For information and registration, please contact:

Julio Cesar Perez, Cuba, email ,

or Audun Engh, St. Olavs gate 9, 0165 Oslo. Norway, email Tel. +47.92622626.


Havana Charrette 2010 - Project Objectives

1. Elaborate ideas for the development of the waterfront sectors of the harbor and East Havana.
2. Promote an integrated vision between the natural condition and the built environment.
3. Promote and highlight the importance of the harbor and East Havana for the new image of Havana and for social and cultural integration.
4. Evaluate the benefits of the transformation of the harbor and East Havana for the future of Havana in economical and urban terms.
5. Improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the harbor and East Havana, preserving its Mediterranean image and getting advantage of its privilege site.
6. Propose the increase of urban open space, housing and commerce in the area and its impact at city level.
7. Turn the current industrial character of the harbor into a sport and recreation one.
8. Reshape the urban landscape of an area currently dilapidated and lacking character by increasing the green areas.
9. Reinforce the cultural identity of the City of Havana.
10. Propose the sanitation of the bay as a necessary condition and departure point to achieve from an ecological perspective.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009 the Royal Norwegian Embassy has most generously invited all Charrette participants to a private evening reception with dinner and live music at the residence of the Norwegian Charge d'Affairs. In 2008 and 2009 also the British Embassy invited Charrette participants to a private evening reception. Similar social events are expected to happen during the 2010 Charrette as well, but they will be confirmed later.


What is a Charrette?

A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for development. It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the designers. More importantly, it allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan.
Read more about charrettes at The Town Paper and Wikipedia.


Registration & Costs

The registration fee for International participants is 220 £ / GBP (approx. 250 Euro or 350 $ / USD). This fee goes exclusively to cover expenses during the charrette, such as drawing materials, transportation costs for Cuban participants, and rent of venue.

A limited number of student scholarships covering the registration fee are available. To apply, please contact Audun Engh:

The participants will have to organise their own travel to and from Cuba, and cover accommodation and meals individually. Air France, Iberia, Virgin and other airlines have flights to Havana. We can on request arrange Casa Particular (rooms in private houses and apartments) accommodation in the Vedado district for 50 CUC, Cuban Convertible Peso per night (approx, 55 $, 35 Euro, 30 £). This price is per room, single or double occupancy. Most of our participants at the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Charrettes chose this option, although some preferred to arrange for their own accommodation. We can make some suggestions if you prefer hotel accommodation.

For further information and preliminary registration, please e-mail:
Audun Engh. Oslo Norway, , or Julio Cesar Perez, Havana Cuba,


Tour of Cuba, 14 - 20 March 2010

Preceding the charrette, we will arrange a on week tour of Cuba, visiting the three UNESCO World Heritage cities Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. You are welcome to register for one of the events, or both. For a detailed program and more information on the 14 - 20 March tour please go the 2010 Tour of Cuba page



You will need a visa to visit Cuba. Please contact your local Cuban embassy. A tourist visa will be the simplest to obtain. New regulations require you to submit the name of the hotel or the address and registration number of the Casa Particular bed and breakfast) when applying for a visa. We will provide you with this information in due time if you prefer Casa Particular accomodation.


US Participants

We have had US participants for the previous tours and workshops. But due to the US trade embargo, US citizens will have to travel under either a general or a specific license. For further information, please go to the website of the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control
You may email us or contact one of the travel agencies listed below for additional information on licenses.
Common Ground Education & Travel Services -
Marazul - .
You may also contact the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York (Phone: 212-614-6464; Fax: 212-614-6499; Email: ), for free legal advice on travel regulations.


The Organisers

The charrette is organised by the Cuban and Scandinavian INTBAU chapters, in partnership with the Academy of Urbanism, UK, and the Cuban and Norwegian chapters of C.E.U. - Council of European Urbanism. We have organised similar events in several countries, including Norway, Germany, the UK, Romania and Italy. In September 2008 C.E.U. Norway organized the Third International C.E.U. Congress - Climate Change and Urban Design in Oslo, Norway.

Web sites:


Professor Julio Cesar Perez Harnandez is responsible for the academic and professional program in Havana and the Cuban participation. Prof. Perez was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design 2001-2002 and adjunct professor at the School of Architecture in Havana (1998-2006). He has lectured widely in the US, Europe, Canada and Bermuda about Cuban architecture. He is a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba and the recipient of several international and national awards. His writings have been published in Progressive Planning, the New York Times, Arquitectura Cuba and Arquitectura y Urbanismo. Julio Cesar Perez is the author of a major new book on Cuban architecture and culture, "Inside Cuba", published by Taschen. He is the President of the Cuban Chapters of INTBAU and C.E.U., and the author of "A Masterplan for 21st Century Havana" and of the forthcoming book “The Magic Landscapes and Urban Design of Havana”.


Previous Charrettes

Read about our previous charrettes in Havana

2007 report (John Pilling) :

2008 report (John Pilling) :

2009 report (John Pilling):


About Havana and Casablanca

Cuba is the biggest island in the Caribbean with 114, 525 Km2 and its current population is 11, 224, 321 inhabitants. Its strategic location regarding the Gulf of Mexico and the Strait of Florida marked important commercial routes since the arrival of the Europeans to America in 1492 while its tropical climate and the beauty of its beaches make it an important destination for tourists nowadays.

Havana is the Capital of Cuba and it was founded by its protected harbor in 1519 whose key geographic position for the Spanish fleets granted the city great prominence by the XVI century. Partially surrounded by a chain of stone fortresses that were built to defend the city, the harbor has an enormous potential for its future economic and urban transformation as part of the waterfront redevelopment strategy to increase public space, housing, recreation and commerce. Its current population is around 2.5 million people. There are different towns and neighborhoods - like Regla, Guanabacoa and Casablanca - around the harbor.

Read more about Havana on Wikipedia.


Casablanca, founded in 1780, is a small marine town across from Old Havana with 5,000 inhabitants. It is crowned by the biggest fortress built by Spain in America from 1763 to 1774. The town is located on a hill where the bay becomes wider so it offers magnificent views to the bay and Old Havana and the Malecón- the seaside promenade in the background. Its urban pattern is very simple and mostly developed along a main axis- Calle Artés- parallel to the water and then, terraces that deal with the slope of the site to accommodate other streets and the buildings. The European influenced vernacular architecture is rather simple and most of the buildings are one story high row houses either with flat or pitched roofs. Porches, high ceilings, stucco walls and courtyards are among its main features. Infrastructure is in an acceptable condition- the town has a stable water supply, electricity, sewage and telephone network- though it should be improved. It has a train- the 1916 Hershey electrical train, the only one in Havana and the oldest of its kind still working in the world- and a boat service for transportation across the harbor.

The 28 meters high Jesus Christ of Havana- a 1958 white Carrara marble sculpture by woman artist Jilma Madera- is one of the landmarks together with the National Weather Center and its dome and the Fortress of La Cabaña, where the International Book Fair is held every year.

Providing the enormous success of restoration in Old Havana- declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982- Casablanca- under the authority of the Historian of the City of Havana- could enjoy the benefits of restoration with a sustainable approach.

Casablanca offers an opportunity to develop a project for improving the quality of life of its inhabitants and a challenge to reshape the neighborhood getting advantage of its privilege location overlooking the bay and Old Havana.


The East Havana Waterfront Sector is one of the most relevant in the Waterfront Redevelopment Concept of the Master Plan for 21st Century Havana conceived by Professor Julio César Pérez Hernández and his team of Cuban architects. Its proximity to the harbor and vacant land makes it very appealing for potential future development.

Since its very foundation Havana's expansion was restricted to the East, so it sprawled westwards along four centuries, and even further based on the car along the XX Century. Once the distances became unfeasible, the territory beyond Old Havana to the East was very much appreciated for new development, although it could not be developed until 1958 after the Tunnel of Havana, executed by the French Societé de Grands Travaux de Marseille, was finished. The tunnel and a new highway - Vía Monumental - contributed to increase the value of the land, and soon several urban projects were done for the now available area, including Sert's new Presidential Palace across the bay and one by Italian architect from Milan, Franco Albini. The US firm Skidmore, Owen and Merril were also involved in the projects that were thought to create a paradise for casinos and hotels at the time when Las Vegas didn't even exist.

After the 1959 Revolution, Albini's project turned into a new and smaller social housing complex, East Havana Neighborhood Unit Camilo Cienfuegos district according to the then current urban trends, finished in 1963. Although a high architectural quality was achieved, it lacked connectivity with the rest of the areas like Cojímar, a small fishermen’s town where writer Ernest Hemingway used to have his boat. In the 1970s a massive precast construction project flooded Alamar, another district after the Cojímar River, and in 1991 a new urban development was added with the construction of several sports facilities and the Villa Panamericana for the celebration of the Pan American Sport Games, the former being examples of bad architecture, and the latter a failed attempt to recreate the traditional city with a central street and blocks filled in with kitsch post-modern style buildings.

The challenges are many and huge, but the most important one will be the integration of this territory as proposed in the Master Plan following its guidelines and design codes - urban, landscape and architectural - so that the whole waterfront is developed according to both its vocation and its potential to give Havana a new facade related to the sea, that orients new urban development to the sea and creates an urban realm according and a sustainable environment. The challenge will consist in the integration of this area to the rest of Havana in both physical and cultural terms, so that it gives continuity to the tradition of excellence of Havana's urbanism and architecture.


Havana Harbor Charrette Program. March 22nd - 27th, 2010

Day 1 SUNDAY March 21st Evening
Welcome and Introduction by Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler; Director of the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, Prof. Julio César Pérez; Cuban and Norwegian Chapters of INTBAU, Audun Engh; Council for European Urbanism. Followed by a buffet and drinks reception. Hotel Condes de Villanueva. Mercaderes Street, at corner of Obrapía; 5.30 pm

Day 2 MONDAY, March 22nd Morning 10 a.m.Work Session.
Tour of the harbor site, Casablanca and East Havana. Introduction of the city, its history and evolution by Professor Julio César Pérez at the scale model of Old Havana.

Lunch on your own or at the venue.
2.30- 5.30 p.m. Studio work. Work in teams. Lectures. Hotel Condes de Villanueva, Mercaderes Street, corner of Obrapía.

Day 3 TUESDAY, March 23rd Morning 9.30 a. m.
Work session. Discussion and organization for presenting preliminary ideas. Venue Hotel Condes de Villanueva. Mercaderes Street, corner of Obrapía

1.30- 2.30 p.m. Lunch. Afternoon session. Public meeting and pin ups of the first ideas. Led by Prof. Arch. Julio César Pérez.

2.30- 5.30 p.m. Studio work at the venue.

Day 4 WEDNESDAY, March 24th. Morning. 9.30 a. m.
Studio work. Team work according to training and affinity
1.30- 2.30 p.m. Lunch
Afternoon session
2.30- 5.30 p.m. Studio work

Day 5 THURSDAY, March 25th. Morning. 9.30 a.m.
Studio work.
1.30- 2.30 p.m. Lunch
Afternoon session
2.30- 5.30 p.m Studio work
5.30 p.m. Public presentation and Discussion of First Proposals

Day 6 FRIDAY, March 26th. Morning. 9.30 a.m.
Studio work.
1.30- 2.30 p.m. Lunch
Afternoon session. Preparation for the final presentation.
2.30- 5.30 p.m. Studio work

Day 7 SATURDAY, March 27th. Morning. 10.00 a.m.
Public Presentation of Final Proposals for The Harbor and of Casablanca
Conclusions and announcement of follow up.
Evening: Cuban Party (to be paid individually).


Participating Cuban Experts

Dr. Professor Architect Orestes del Castillo - ONG Old Havana.
Professor Architect and Urban Planner Julio César Pérez, UNEAC, CEU, INTBAU.
Professor Architect and Urban Planner Esteban Martínez, Member of UNEAC.
Architect Juan Carlos Toledo, Office of the Historian of the City of Havana.
Architect Joel Estévez, OSEDIP.
Architect Alexis de la Cruz, EPROB.

Cuban Supporting Organizations

Office of the Historian of the City of Havana
UNEAC (National Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba)
UNAICC (National Union of Architects and Engineers of Cuba)
National Physical Planning Institute
Faculty of Architecture of Havana / CUJAE
Fundación El Hombre y la Naturaleza
Instituto Nacional de Geofísica y Astronomía
Government of Casablanca
Government of East Havana


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