In Pictures: Havana's Public Spaces
In 2006, Ethan Kent visited Havana, Cuba to investigate the city's unique public spaces and how residents use them. This image-filled article by Project for Public Spaces collects some of his observations. They include:
- Children and youth play in the streets freely, without fearing death by classic Ford or Chevrolet.
- "[Public] markets play an especially important role here creating jobs and supporting a major portion of the food system that is otherwise somewhat fragile. But beyond the very common markets and food stands, there is not a strong retail economy."
- "A system of small parks and squares, while not always beautiful and polished, are points of pride, sociability, and comfort."
- Wide, well-used boulevards rival those of Europe.
- "[The] waterfront is clearly one of the city's greatest assets and already an identifying icon, but the public spaces along the waterfront need the most improvement."
Havana has the "bones" of a great pedestrian city, but will foreign investment build on those assets, or destroy them?