- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From the colonial and early republican periods, through the 1959 revolution, and into the post-Soviet era and today, the authors trace Havana's physical evolution and place it in the context of important political, economic, and cultural developments. This new edition--which has been completely revised, redesigned, and updated since the book's original publication in 1997--also highlights recent restoration efforts in Old Havana, commercial development projects throughout the city, and the wide-ranging effects of international tourism.
"An exciting portrait of one of Latin America's most important cities, Havana takes us beyond the usual coffee-table-book photos of crumbling eighteenth-century archways, emphasizing instead the private experience of Havana's denizens. (Lingua Franca)"
"Perhaps no three scholars are better qualified to describe and explain the reality of Havana to social scientists interested in urbanity than the authors of this extraordinary book. Such fruitful collaboration between Cuban and American scholars is rare, and in this case the results are rich. (Review of Radical Political Economics)"
"A seminal work that belongs on any Cubanologist's bookshelf, and an essential text for anyone reading to prepare for a trip to the island. It is also an important work for scholars with only a passing interest in the specifics of Havana's built environment, but who also focus on urban history, architectural forms, state socialism, or Cuba's post-Soviet transition. (Environment and Planning A)"
The best available reference on the urban development and planning of Havana since its foundation in 1519. What emerges is a complex portrait of Havana's polycentric structure and the processes that have defined it. (Journal of Architectural Education)
This book is an extraordinary document, not least because its subject is a truly great city, perhaps the most interesting in the New World.
La Habana contains the sediment of several failed destinies. It has been the great colonial capital of an enormously arrogant European empire; republican heir to an epic war of liberation; aesthetic playground of an haute bourgeoisie of remarkable refinement; and currently the stage for a revolutionary process unsurpassed in ideological zeal. The passion of the Cuban people has distilled these sequential ideals, giving their capital its uniquely tragic, heroic visage.
On the other hand . . . perhaps not.
Perhaps the greater influence has been that of the international architectural ideologies, washing wave upon wave upon this crossroads of an island. Perhaps, the cosmopolitan architects of Cuba have been the dominant influence. After all, the urban conditions of La Habana have contemporary siblings elsewhere. Must we conclude from the evidence, that the virulence of architectural ideology overwhelms sociopolitical considerations?
Perhaps there is only one certainty: that the architecture and urbanism of La Habana are superb in an absolute sense. They do not call forth the abeyance that a relativist discourse accords the Caribbean, the provinces, or the Third World.
This is all described by the authors of this book; one a rigorous North American scholar, another himself immersed in the revolutionary process, and the third, a roving, skeptical intellectual. Combined, they manage a fascinating presentation from which our own conclusions may be drawn.
To read it, and to visit La Habana, is to become addicted to urbanism.
Andres M. DuanyRead an excerpt from Chapter One.
Miami, September 2001
Foreword by Andres M. Duany
1. History, Geography, and Society
2. The First Half Century: The Rise of an Antillean Metropolis
3. The Havana of January
4. Socialist Havana: Planning, Dreams, and Reality
5. City Government and Administration: Old and New Actors
6. The Hope and Reality of Socialist Housing
7. The Changing Nature of the Economy
8. The Value of Social Functions
9. Habana Vieja: Pearl of the Caribbean
10. Havana's Future: Risks and Opportunities