My dream of Havana
Preserve the shells of the old buildings along the Malecon.
Why should all our heritages be hidden behind walls? Why are we paying tickets in the entrance to have a short glance back to the forgotten past? Why not walk in the streets and feel the beauty and silence of old times without passing among cars in the shadow of huge and ugly functional buildings? In Havana the time have been unchanged in many years. That is something special and something we should take care of.
The old Havana as a living museum.
Walking the backstreets of old Havana last year, I do some thoughts of this wonderful town in the future. What ever will happen, I am sure that the the modern times will come also here. Supermarkets, restaurants, offices and a lot of cars. Like everywhere else in this world, the relics from the past will be gone and never to be brought back again.
Refering to the idea of listening to the ground, I give my ideas in spite I am not one of the local people. But I want to come back some day, and my hope is that the Havana soul still will be there.
Well, my friends, this is my dream:
Don't let the very old part of town get into a business center or luxus homes for the rich ones. Let it be the people's part of the town with everything that people need.
This is my idea: Let the shells of the damages buildings be recovered as they are, and rather build in the ugly bunkers which is the need of a modern town. Markets, discos, museums and parking garages
I remember very well the streets of Cienfuegos. Walking under the arcades and listen to the sound of the horseshoes. (If I close my eyes and ears for the cars). I was like to be 100 years back in time. This is therapy for the human brain. This is something the modern world has forgotten. We cannot stop the world, but we can decrease the sight of traffic everywhere. Especially Cuba will explode when people get the possibility to buy cars, as we have seen in East Europe and underdeveloped countries. Thousands of cars parked in front of beautiful buildings and gardens. Is this what we want to see when we take a walk in the town?
My whishes for Havana is a lot of hidden parking places. Underground garages or parking houses. Many of them, but here is my question? Why are parking houses always ugly, while status buildings like opera and theater is the proudness of the town? They all are houses in the sight of people and together make the environment we are living in.
Let the cars out of the vieu.
- or this?
Do we want this?
Malecon and the safety.
As I can consider, the main streets in Havana are broad and functional. Let the traffic be there and not inside the charming old town. Walking streets only? No, I really don't mean that. But a part of Cuba's soul is the funny vehicles. Imagine the old part of town, where the narrow streets are, filled up with horse cabs? May be the bisitaxi, cocotaxi too. And the old americans! Don't hide these cars away. They are the real and special Cuba, as I see. Take care of them. But let the modern traffic be outside.
Malecon is the blood vein of Havana. Beautiful, but dangerous. First of all it is a life gamble to cross the road. Is it possible to make some level crossings that fell into the environment? Soft curves may be? An architect competition? May be the best is underground passages. The seaside should be a pleasant walk. Not a trap because of the slippery algae which appears some places. Make a system to drain away the water and rather put some benches for the elder ones. And for the youths who are playing with their life to dive in the wild water. Some steps may be, to get safe up again from the cliffs.
Let the traffic out of the old town.
Save the Soul of Havana
Well, this was some of my thoughts. Selfish, may be, because I want to come back to Havana as it was, or what it can be. May be this is nothing new. May be it is to far from reality. Anyhow, it is given to you, out of my head and I can sleep well.
Best whishes from Birgit Skjśret.
I hope the best for all of you, a productive charette and a happy time in Cuba.