Rethinking the Spirit of Place: The Magic and Poetry of Havana

Pérez Hernandez, Julio Cesar (2008) Rethinking the Spirit of Place: The Magic and Poetry of Havana. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

Havana, a Caribbean Metropolis with a European influence, was spared the damage of the global urban renewal and overdevelopment of the second half of the 20th century. Even today, it keeps intact its traditional urban fabric. Its unique and appealing spirit stems not only from the well-known quality of its music and rhythms, its vibrant street life and its friendly ambience, but also from its built environment. However, the city’s harmonious juxtaposition of different architectural styles, displayed by an impressive collection of buildings authored by world famous local and international architects, is currently threatened by overdevelopment, sprawl and neglect. A comprehensive Master Plan aimed at preserving the city’s spirit and its historic, urban and architectural legacy has been devised. It is intended to encourage Havana’s future urban and economic development, while respecting its spirit and remaining true to its history, its people’s idiosyncrasies and its landscapes. The plan acknowledges Havana’s readiness for a sensitive change and renovation according to sustainable principles that reconcile human needs with ecological imperatives. It envisions Havana’s survival as an urban place with a strong cultural identity. For the first time, it supplies a comprehensive and long term vision that guarantees total connectivity and a seamless urban layout. The plan deals with the oldest areas by creating buffer zones that grant urban continuity, as well as social and cultural integration.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Pérez Hernandez, Julio Cesar
Languages: English
Keywords: historic town; spirit of place; urban renewal; urban development; master plan; buffer zone; World Heritage List
Subjects: M.WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 03. World Heritage List
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
D.URBANISM > 02. Urban planning
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 12. Historic towns and villages
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Old Havana, Cuba
UNESCO WHC Number: 204
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2010 13:27
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:13

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