Walking in Havana, Cuba

Warren, James; González González, Adrián; Ortegón Sánchez, Adriana; Peña Díaz, Jorge; Morris, Emily and Cazanave Macías, Joiselen (2022). Walking in Havana, Cuba. In: Kotzebue, Julia R. ed. Towards Sustainable Transport and Mobility Perspectives on Travelling and Commuting in Small Island States. Hamburg, Germany: Hamburg University Press Verlag der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky, pp. 117–134.

URL: https://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de/oa-pub/catalog/book...


Walking pedestrians account for nearly half of all daily trips in Havana. Walking provides many positive and sustainable benefits, including those linked with accessibility, health and energy conservation, but until recently, transport and urban planners have paid relatively little or less attention to the walking environment. Havana is an exceptional case among island cities in many ways and one outstanding feature is the high level of walking with 46 % of all trips carried out by pedestrians. The use of the bicycle accounts for another 1. S % as a sustainable form of mobility. In six other Latin American cities walking and biking taken together account for many less trips resulting in a range of values from 32 % to 40 % ofall trips, in Barranquilla, Curitiba, Guadalajara, Salvador, Recife and Belo Horizante, respectively (Hidalgo Huizenga, 2013, figure 6, p 70). The high values of walking as a share of total trips means that more emphasis should be placed on creating better walking environments.

Good walkability depends on factors woven into the urban fabric, such as creating compact built-up areas and preventing city sprawl, increasing spatial accessibility through good street network design, creating public spaces as well as pedestrian and bicycle networks, stimulating walkability, creating mixed functions in the districts preventing social segregation, protecting green urban areas, and improving of public transport infrastructure (Telega et al., 2021, p 3). Both Telega (and CNC 2020) note that the Charter for New Urbanism is aligned "to growing the supply of neighbourhoods that are both walkable and affordable; work to change the codes and regulations blocking walkable urbanism; and advance design strategies that help communities adapt to climate change and mitigate its future impact".

The main objective in this study is to explore two methods called movement and place mapping, and walkability surveys (or audits), both of which can highlight issues around walkability and provide different types of data for Havana city. The study concludes with some recommendations for improving walkability.

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