Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Urban Challenges, Havana in the 2010s

November 29th, 2011
4:00 PM

Location
Tulane University
Jones Hall 100 A, Greenleaf Conference Room

Talk by Cuban architect, urban designer and critic Mario Coyula-Cowley.

About the talk: Pre-revolutionary Havana was a city that wanted to be European and white, then American and at some point Russian. It was never a Caribbean city, but is becoming one. Immigration from Cuban eastern provinces increased sharply after the 1990s, due to the economic crisis. Most of these immigrants are poor, lacking skills, and with darker skin. They are changing lifestyles, behavior in public spaces and the cityscape. This is combined with persisting urban marginality and a kitschy influence on the Cuban poor-nouveau-riches from TV soap operas and relatives that live in Hialeah, Miami.

Mario Coyula-Cowley Architect, urban designer, critic. Profesor de Merito, 2001. National Award of Architecture, 2001 and National Habitat Award, 2004, both lifelong. Academico de Merito, Cuban Academy of Sciences. Former director of Architecture and Urbanism of Havana, former director of the Group for the Integrated Development of Havana, first and former president of Havana’s Landmarks Commission and former dean of the School of Architecture at CUJAE, Havana. Co-author of two award-winning commemorative monuments in Havana that are considered landmarks in that field, the Monument-Park of the University, 1965-67, and the Pantheon of the Heroes of March 13th, 1982. Author of circa 200 essays, articles and reviews, and co-author of five books, including Havana. Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis, which won the 1997 CHOICE prize for outstanding academic books. His first novel, Catalina, appeared in the 2011 Fall in Seville.
He has taught or lectured abroad in the US, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Brazil, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany. In 2002 he was the RFK Visiting Professor at Harvard, and in 2006 Guest Professor at the Urbanism Institute from Vienna’s Angewandte. In 2011 he is back to Harvard with a DRCLAS fellowship. Coyula is a member of the National Council at the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists, of the National Landmarks Commission, the National Commission for Public and Commemorative Art, and is chair of the National permanent jury for doctoral thesis, among other permanent commissions and committees.

Click here to read The New York Times article, “Cuba to Allow Buying and Selling of Property, With Few Restriction,” for which Dr. Coyula was interviewed.

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