Barack Obama will visit Cuba in March 2016, becoming the first U.S. president to do so in nearly 90 years.
Students from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design joined colleagues from the Affordable Housing Institute to explore the shifting socio-political, economic, and physical landscapes making such a visit possible. Cuba Facing Forward: Balancing transition with development in the Caribbean’s most-watched nation was presented on November 14, 2015. This one-day intensive symposium brought together the best, up-to-the-minute, forward-looking thinkers on the changes taking place in Cuba-U.S. relations and how these changes might impact the built and natural environments in Cuba. Speakers included leading professionals, both Cuban and international, in architecture, urban planning, ecology, law, and real estate development.

A summary of the conference is now available at

Cuba Facing Forward conference, Panel 1: Ecology, Culture, and Community: left to right: Alejandro Echeverri, David Guggenheim, Jorge Angulo Valdés, Dilip da Cunha, Dave Hampton (MDes RR, 2016)