Its modern urban layout comes from the Spanish urban planning tradition - multiple churches and squares supplemented by regular street grids that vary in the length and width of the streets and the size of the blocks. These urban grids ...
Since its establishment by the Spanish in the 16th century, Havana, taking the advantage of the ports, started its booming export economy based on the slave and sugar trade which had provided funds for the building construction in both private estates and public areas. In the 1700s, it became one of the most important cities in Latin America.1
Its modern urban layout comes from the Spanish urban planning tradition - multiple churches and squares supplemented by regular street grids that vary in the length and width of the streets and the size of the blocks. These urban grids form a radial pattern of blocks from the harbor to the south and the west. In addition, the size of each area demonstrates a certain relationship with its different local conditions and history. The Old Havana with the longest history in the capital owns the smallest regular grid. The blocks are smaller and the streets are shorter. Compared to other areas, the overall geometric order of the urban grid in this area is not as consistent as in the young areas.2 For example, comparing Old Havana with EL Vedado, which was built in the mid-18th century on the west side of the old city, their street structure and scale are different. As a relatively young area, Vedado‘s urban design shows its uniqueness compared with Havana‘s established urban planning. One of the novel aspects is the geographical direction of the block at a 45-degree angle to the rest of the city to take full advantage of the breeze. Another aspect is to include trees in its regular streets, promenades, and city parks. In addition, wide roads, sidewalks, and parterres would facilitate years later the arrival of the automobile.3
article written by Ailyn de la Caridad Sierra Paneque, Sermin Devecioglu, Huiyan Long