Havana has through the economic and political sanctions since 1959, found its self with a very unique situation of preservation through lack of means. The city did not experience any post WW2 reconstruction and development, nor did it experience the vast commercial development that dominates the cost lines of in the 70’s and 80’s as happened in many other Caribbean cities. Simply put Havana has not had much development in general, only a selective restoration of the historic centre to promote its modest tourism industry. Just outside this compact zone in the historic city centre the urban fabric is literally crumbling; it’s infrastructure, it’s buildings and government. The people in Cuba have a love-hate relationship with their country. They are fiercely proud, but on the other hand they know they are living in comparative poverty and the situation is not getting better. The natural beauty is also being threatened, the Harbour was once a pristine fishing bay is heavily polluted by industry and raw sewage is often dumped directly into the bay. This city needs to be upgraded, but the question is how?
Four different case study are were chosen in Havana: La Habana Alamar-Post Revolution Utopian Havana; La Habana Profunda - Deep Working Class Havana; La Habana Vedado - Westernized Affluent Havana; and La Habana Vieja - Historic Centre and Touristic Havana. Each area was assigned to group of nine students, who were asked to develop speculative vision for the future of the area. Students were free to choose thesis topics and encouraged to develop designs individually, and consequently connect them into overall group strategy.