Rosa Oliveras Gomez


In search of improved equality of opportunities for every citizen, the Cuban Government, for almost thirty years, had aimed productive and infrastructural investments at the rest of country rather than at the capital city. But at the end of the ’80s, the criteria for the restoration of Havana were established, based on principles of improving participation, promoting sustainability, supporting the less-developed areas and, consequently, improving quality of life of the population. Among other strategies, multidisciplinary working groups - Workshops for comprehensive neighborhood transformation - were created. Their role, working style, results and impact have led to their conversion into consulting bodies for the local government. For 23 years, they have continued to support the community development process in areas (presently inhabited by half a million people) with social and habitat problems. Their main function is to promote the physical and social transformation of these local areas through community strategic planning. This article discusses the outcomes and the limits of this experience, and the lessons learned during the author’ s 22 years of coordination, management and implementation of planning activities in this context.


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