Public Instigators

South Bronx Gondola

Havana Harbor Rail

SITE: Havana, Cuba

YEAR: Urban Design Grad - 2019, Semester 2

UNIVERSITY: CUNY Spitzer School of Architecture

DURATION OF PROJECT: 4 months

Havana has numerous street typologies within the neighborhoods around the harbor. These different street typologies, along with a lack of funding from the government, have caused Havana to have no reliable or efficient public transit options, which has affected certain neighborhoods around the harbor from receiving necessary resources. Havana currently has the railway infastructure, bike-sharing programs, taxis, and a bus systems in place. Combining these transit options into a reliable system will help connect the neighborhoods around the harbor while creating new public spaces within each neighborhood.

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The streetscapes can be classified as pedestrian, two lanes with sidewalks, vehicular, and disconnected. The only real option currently for traveling the streetscapes around the harbor neighborhoods is by car, which is not a viable option for everyone. There are buses that can take you around the harbor, but it is not an extensive system. Taxis are available but are expensive to use. All of this has created a segregation of the harbor neighborhoods.

Pedestrian

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15 ft in width

Disconnected

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20 ft wide (distance varies)

Two Lane

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32 ft wide not including 
sidewalks

Vehicular

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50 - 80 ft wide not 
including sidewalks

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Figure 1: Streetscapes throughout Havana

The Masterplan

Havana has the railway infrastructure in place that can help connect the different street typologies throughout the neighborhoods. The old harbor rail line will be repurposed for pedestrian transit. Along the rail line, six new train stations will be built for each of the harbor’s neighborhoods while two existing stations will be renovated for reuse. These new stations will have programs attached to the station based on each community’s needs, like a market or cultural venue. Smaller train stations will be placed in between the neighborhood stations so that the harbor rail reaches more communities. All the new train stations will have bike sharing, taxis, and/or bus options outside of the station, so people can get around that specific neighborhood-based off its street typology. Buses and ferries will connect to the harbor rail to create a cohesive and viable public transit system.

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Transit System Implementation

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1. Reuse the 1930s electric harbor freight rail lines for passenger trains.

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3. The harbor rail cars will go to each station. Local transit (buses, bike shares, taxis) will be available from each station based of the neighborhood’s street typology (pedestrian, two lanes, vehicular, disconnected).

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2. Proposed station designs are based on the famous architecture of the 1912 Havana Central Station. Program will be attached to each station tailored specifically for each neighborhood.

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4. Transit transfer from the harbor rail stations to the local transit options (buses, bike shares, taxis)

The Commute

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Harbor Rail

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Rail Station

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Local Transit based on Neighborhood's Street Typology

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Destination

Full Commute

Castillo de Atares Station

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Streetscapes: Vehicular, Two Lane

Neighborhood: Diez de Octubre

Commute:

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Figure 2 + 3: Castillo de Atares Train Station and plaza renders

Martin Perez River Station

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Neighborhood: San Miguel Del Padron

Streetscapes: Vehicular, Disconnected

Commute:

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Figure 4 + 5: Martin Perez River Train Station and marketplace renders

Oil Refinery Station

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Neighborhood: Oil Refinery

Streetscapes: Disconnected

Commute:

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Figure 6 + 7: Oil Refinery Train Station and public park renders

Casablanca Station

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Neighborhood: Casablanca

Streetscapes: Vehicular, Two Lane

Commute:

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Figure 8 + 9: Casablanca Train Station and public walkway renders