500 anni dell'Avana: pretesto per una lettura storico-morfologica
In: U+D urbanform and design: 14, 2020
One of the most remarkable features of Havana is that it possesses a singular harmony between coherence and variety. Havana is the happy fusion of many urban organisms, each of them distinguishable and recognizable by its own characteristics, and this defines its variety.
At the same time, the correspondence between the urban morphology and the architectural typologies of each area gives it a distinctly organic essence. Some of these characteristics of coherence, some stand out for clarity: the urban grid, which adapts pragmatically to the local context; the arcades, ubiquitous throughout the city; the homogeneity of its urban skyline, for which rare exceptions confirm the norm.
This article aims to identify the main agents and processes that triggered and moderated the growth of the Cuban capital during the different historical phases of its development, and to analyze, with the help of graphics, how each of them had an impact on the evolution of the city. Urban expansion has combined an intuitive practical sense for making cities, based on tradition and experience, with various foreign academic influences. Growth was also marked by demographic impulses and speculative interests, regulated by urban norms, which had a predominant role in ordering and defining the urban form. Finally, the singular dynamics of the last 60 years, gives a particular interest to the analysis of how Havana has come to the present day.
Keywords: Havana, 500 years, urban morphology, typology, urban grid, polycentric.