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2016 Havana International Charrette on Urban Design

INTBAU Cuba and C.E.U. Cuba invite you to the 2016 Havana Urban Design Charrette.

    Event Information

The 2016 Havana International Charrette on Urban Design will build on our previous work from 2007-2015. International architects, planners, artists and people in general are invited to join Cuban experts and local communities for a one-week Charrette from 13-19 March 2016 to develop proposals for the regeneration and development of the future of Havana.

The Charrette will fit both educational and professional purposes and will give participants an introduction to the history of Havana’s cultural heritage through close contact with its traditions, architecture and urbanism. The Charrette seeks the participation of individuals who share a respectful attitude to new interventions in historical contexts, and who value the creation of places humans can live in, work in and enjoy.

The charrette will be preceded by a study tour of Havana. For more information, click here.

Project Objectives

To test and evaluate the ideas of ¨A Master Plan for 21st Century Havana¨ and its implementation based on the city´s current needs.

·  Elaborate ideas for the development of the waterfront sectors and urban infill
.  Promote an integrated vision between the natural condition and the built environment.
·  Promote and highlight the importance of a long-term vision for Havana and its social that grants social and cultural diversity and integration.
·  Evaluate the benefits of the transformation of Havana in economical and urban terms to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants, preserving the city´s.
·  Propose the increase of urban open space, housing and commerce and evaluate their impact at city level.
·  Turn the current dilapidated image of several parts of Havana into a contemporary and joyful one.
·  Reshape the civic and urban landscape of Havana by increasing the green areas.
·  Reinforce the cultural identity of the city of Havana.

The Charrette is designed for architects, planners, art historians, antiquarians, writers, students and anyone with an interest in the history, traditions and culture of Cuba. The full Charrette programme and a description of Havana area are included at the bottom of this page.

Participants are responsible for their own travel to Cuba, accommodation and meals.

Our previous Charrettes have brought together participants from Australia, Cuba, UK, USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Argentina, Mexico and other countries. You can read reports on past Charrettes online on John Pilling’s website.

What is a Charrette?
A  specially intense workshop where people meet and work.
A Charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for development. it provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the designers. More importantly, it allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan through its personal contribution and ideas and work.

Registration & Costs

Please contact Professor Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez.
The registration fee for international participants is 650.00 CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos), approx. USD $700 and its equivalent cost in other currencies like Euros and British Sterling Pounds. This is a mandatory registration fee that serves to exclusively cover expenses during the Charrette, such as studio equipment, transportation costs, and the renting of the venue.


Participants are asked to arrange their own travel to Havana. Airlines with connections from Europe include Air France, British Airways, Iberia, and Virgin Atlantic (from London). There are also flights to Havana from the US (Miami, New York, LA, Tampa and other cities), Canada, Mexico, all countries in Europe, Australia and other Latin American countries.

Some ATMs can be found, but they are rare compared to other countries. As for now, no cards issued by US banks will work in Cuba. It is recommended to bring cash for the trip. Euros, UK Pounds and Dollars are accepted in any currency exchange shop. US Dollars will be subject to a 10% tax when exchanged. In this regard Euros enjoy a much better exchange rate.


You will need a visa to visit Cuba. Please contact your local Cuban embassy. A tourist visa will be the simplest to obtain. New regulations require you to submit the name of the hotel or the address and registration number of the Casa Particular when applying for a visa.

We can, on request, help you arrange your accommodation in a Casa Particular (rooms in private houses and apartments) by putting you in touch with the owners so that you deal with them directly. Accommodation in El Vedado costs around 40 CUC, Cuban Convertible Peso per night (approx, $45 $, 35 Euro, 30 £). This price is per room, single or double occupancy. Most of our participants at the previous Charrettes chose this option, although some preferred to arrange for their own accommodation in international hotels. We can make some suggestions if you prefer hotel accommodation.

Study Tour 6-11 March 2016

Preceding the Charrette, is a one-week Study Tour of Havana. You are welcome to register for one of the events, or both. For a detailed programme and more information on the 6-11 March tour, please click here.

US Participants

We have had us participants for the previous tours and workshop. Due to the US trade embargo, US citizens will have to travel under either a general or a specific license. for further information, please go to the website of the United States Department Of The Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control, also known as OFAC where you can obtain a more detailed information.

You may email us or contact the travel agency whose contact info we are providing here below for additional information on licences, airfare, visas and accommodation and its owner. Yuma Cuba Express. Roberto Touron at

The Organisers

The Charrette is organized by INTBAU Cuba and CEU Cuba (Council for European Urbanism) who have successfully organized and led similar events since 2007, including the most recent one within the academic context of the INTBAU Annual Conference on Heritage in Havana (November 15-17, 2015).

Professor Julio Cesar Perez-Hernandez is responsible for the academic and professional program in Havana and the Cuban participation. He is a practicing architect and urban planner, professor and published author and has been a Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor at Harvard, Notre Dame and a speaker at many international conferences across Europe, Canada and the US and has lectured widely in the US, Europe, Canada, Bermuda, and Cuba. A Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School Of Design 2001-2002 and an adjunct professor at the School of Architecture in Havana from 1998 to 2006, he is also the author of the major books “Inside Cuba”, published by Taschen in 2006 and of “Inside Havana” also published by Taschen in October 2011 and two forthcoming books about Cuban architecture and urbanism. As a practicing architect and urban planner he´s designed and built buildings in the US, Cuba and Spain. He’s the author of “A Master Plan for 21st Century Havana” registered at the US Library of Congress, in Washington DC also of many articles edited by professional journals. Julio Cesar Perez is a member of the Guild of Writers and Artists of Cuba and the recipient of several international and national awards.  Pérez Hernández is the founding president of the Cuban Chapters of INTBAU and C.E.U.

Participating Cuban Experts

·  Professor Architect & Urban Planner Julio César Pérez, UNEAC, CEU, INTBAU, ICOMOS
·  Professor Architect And Urban Planner Esteban Martínez, CEU, INTBAU
·  Architect Jaime Rodriguez, CEU, INTBAU
·  Architect Joel Estévez, CEU, INTBAU
·  Architect Alexis de La Cruz, CEU, INTBAU
.  Architect Héctor Gómez, OHCH, CEU, INTBAU
.  Architect Jorge Araguez, CEU, INTBAU

Cuban Supporting Organizations
·  Office of The Historian of The City of Havana, OHCH
·  Uneac (National Union of Artists And Writers of Cuba)
·  Unaicc (National Union of Architects And Engineers of Cuba)

Further Information and Registration

Professor Julio Cesar Perez-Hernandez. President INTBAU Cuba Chapter
Email: Cell Phone: (1) 574 343 6549


Professional Programme

2016 Havana International Charrette Program. 13-19  March 2016
Led and organized by Professor Julio Cesar Perez-Hernandez

Venue: Hotel Ambos Mundos, Old Havana, Cuba. The First Hotel Ernest Hemingway Stayed At In Havana. Obispo Street and Mercaderes Street.

Day 1. Sunday, 13 March.  Evening Cocktail Reception
Welcome and Introduction by Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler; Director of The Office of The Historian of The City of Havana (to be confirmed) and Professor Julio César Pérez-Hernandez,. Followed by a Free Drinks Reception. Hotel Ambos Mundos. Mercaderes Street, Corner of Obispo. Old Havana. 5.30 pm.

Day 2. Monday, 14 March. Walking Tour of Havana´s Financial District. Led by Professor Julio César Pérez
Morning 9.30 am. Walking Tour. Meeting at Plaza de Armas.
12.00-1.45 pm Lunch on your own.
2.00- 4.30 pm Lectures.
Introductory Lecture by Professor Julio César Pérez: The Future of Havana
Lecture: Architect Ricardo Alvarez, President of the Fundacion por la Arquitectura, Puerto Rico.
General Introduction to the Charrette. Other Presentations To Be Announced
Work in teams

Day 3. Tuesday, 15 March. Working Session.  Led by Professor Julio César Pérez
Morning 9.00 am. Studio. Work Session: Preliminary Ideas
Discussion of first Ideas and Proposals
12.30- 1.30 pm Lunch.
1.30- 4.30 pm Afternoon Session. Studio Work at the Venue.
Discussion and Organisation for Presenting Preliminary Ideas.

Day 4. Wednesday, 16 March. Working Session. Led by Professor Julio César Pérez
Morning. 9.00 am. Studio Work. Preliminary Ideas.
Adjustment of Team Work according to training and affinity.
12.30- 1.30 pm Lunch.
1.30- 4.30 pm Afternoon Session. First Pin-Ups Preliminary Ideas. Led by Prof. J.C Pérez

Day 5. Thursday, 17 March. Working Session. Led by Professor Julio César Pérez
Morning. 9.00 am. Studio Work. Readjustment of Proposals.
12.30- 1.30 pm Lunch.
1.30- 4.30 pm Afternoon Session. Work On Proposals & Organization of Final Public Presentation.

Day 6. Friday, 18 March.  Work Preparation For Public Presentation And Discussion
Morning. 9.00 am. Studio Work. Final Proposals’ Readjustment And Organization Of Readjustment Public Presentation. Led by Professor Julio Cesar Pérez-Hernandez.
12.30- 1.30 pm Lunch. Hotel Ambos Mundos.
2.30- 5.30 pm. Afternoon Session. Studio Work. Preparation For Final Presentation.

Day 7. Saturday, 19 March.  Final Public Presentation And Conclusions
Morning. 9.30 am. Public Presentation For Miramar Waterfront. Led by Prof Julio César Pérez
Introduction: Professor Julio César Pérez. Presentation: All Team Members
Public Discussion
Conclusions: Professor Julio César Pérez-Hernandez