Havana Studio: Historic Preservation and Urban Strategy

Schools of Public Engagement: International Affairs

Non-Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students

Havana Studio

Spring 2021

Taught By: Anthony Tung and Gabriel Vignoli

Section: A

CRN: 7239

Credits: 3

This studio course will focus on the threats to Havana's architectural heritage in the wider context of building an urban strategy. Cuba and particularly the metropolitan area of Havana are experiencing rapid change, involving economic liberalization, arrival of new technologies, and global flows including tourism. Meanwhile, the cityscape of Havana has come to wide attention among architects, historians, and urban preservationists for several reasons. Firstly, it has been somewhat frozen in time since the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and has not been affected by such common urban practices as cutting highways through existing neighborhoods, or leveling deteriorated communities for the construction of out-of-scale large modern housing blocks. This has generally left intact a rich 500-year old architectural legacy reflecting the wealth accumulated while Havana was the principal embarkation point for the Treasure Fleets of Colonial Spain and later as one of the world's major sources of raw sugar. Nevertheless, the frozen cityscape has come to be an environment of severe physical hardship for the occupants of gravely degenerating structures (over 600 buildings collapse each year) amid widely failing infrastructure. Such precarious conditions pock-mark the cityscape. Will a wave of much-needed economic revitalization bring with it the destruction of this singular environment? Or can Havana develop policies that support concurrently economic growth, social justice, and the conservation of its beautiful built patrimony? Students will learn and apply techniques to assess urban heritage in the neighborhood of Centro Habana which is one of the most architecturally distinctive yet largely unprotected districts in the world. Working as a team the studio will produce two deliverables. During the spring semester: a critical photo survey will map the current exposure to loss of environmental value. During a summer field-trip to Havana: a targeted study will show the regulatory complexity posed by scattered self-help construction in eroded patrimony structures. The 3-credit spring semester course will include a working one-week trip in March to Havana (March 15 to March 22, 2020). A three-week working summer field trip will occur in May-June (May 24 to June 14, 2020) under the auspices of the Cuba International Field Program, led by Gabriel Vignoli. There are 4 options for Havana Studio students to join the Cuba IFP. These are: No credits for 1 month; 3 credits for 1 month; No credits for 2 months; 6 credits for 2 months.

This course is part of the Cities and Social Justice concentration concentration in the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: International Affairs (NINT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Sync Type: N/A

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: N/A
Online Withdrawal Deadline: N/A

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 1:26pm 8/13/2020 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th

Room: 258

Date Range: 1/19/2021 - 5/4/2021