Urban Planning Lessons From Cuba

A look at the history of urban planning in Cuba illustrates how participatory planning and Cuban socialism can mutually learn from one another.
October 13, 2003, 5am PDT | Connie Chung
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"Since shortly after its 1959 revolution, Cuba’s variety of socialism has featured both large-scale planning (physical, economic, social) and massive popular participation through active mass organizations and frequent mobilizations. Participatory planning, however, has remained more elusive....On the whole, the Cuban state tends to operate in the advocacy rather than transformative planning paradigm–that is, it acts for the people rather than empowering the people to act for themselves. Many good things have happened as a result: excellent schools; a health care system that is the envy of much of the world; and widespread distribution of benefits like adequate and affordable housing. But there have also been negative results: slum clearance and the dispersal of residents with no regard to the social networks destroyed in the process; universal policies applied regardless of cultural and historical differences; mandated 'color- and gender-blind' equality that doesn’t touch the complex roots of racism and sexism."

Thanks to Connie Chung

Full Story:
Published on Friday, October 10, 2003 in Planners Network
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email