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The City of Havana

The Practice of and Perspectives on Urban Value Capture

Ricardo Núñez Fernández

Enero 2000, inglés

The development of the City of Havana during the first five decades of the current century was characterized by the presence of market mechanisms, speculative processes, and spatial segregation of rich and poor. The urban surpluses that were generated or promoted by the action of the state were appropriated almost exclusively by property owners and real estate investors.

In this context the “production” of urban land was always associated with an effective demand backed by market criteria. Production was coordinated by the political and financial elites, in concert with property owners. The latter benefited from modifications in land use norms, including reclassification of land from rural to urban, and changes in the permitted direction and form of growth. The private gains from these changes influenced in turn the pattern of development of the city.