A Plan to Reverse the Negative Developments of the Cauto River, Cuba


As a Chilean architect, I observed the degradation of natural habitats in different regions in Latin America. I have previously worked with a indigenous communities in the Atacama Desert in the design of a project to address the potential dissolution of communities due to global development and a lack of ecological preservation of the landscape. I am particularly interested in the fostering the capacity of local cultures to protect the environment and the native landscape, in order to maintain the cultural identity and combat the ecological degradation that has impacted the sustainability of local communities At this moment I am working with an Afro- Haitian community for my Master thesis at UC Berkeley. My thesis is a study and design of various water treatment solutions applicable to the complex problems of integration, sustainability, respect and development of the local landscapes in the Cauto River in Southeast Cuba.  My objectives for the summer2012 were to collect data on the ecological, urban and social factors that continue to prevent more viable uses of the river. From the surrounding communities, specifically the Haitian community, I learned how the river serves the community in meeting their basic needs. The final product of my thesis will be a design for a public and sacred space that borders the city of Palma de Soriano and the agricultural region. This space will serve multiple functions: restoring the ecology of the place, reforestation and water quality, and strengthening the sustainability of a viable community based on the principles of landscape ecology and cultural integration. I hope to illustrate how urban spaces develop to integrate the local culture and restore the native ecology to the landscape.        

Daniela Pena Corvillon
Publication date: 
October 18, 2012
Publication type: 
Student Research