Havana, Cuba, 27 April 2022--During Habitat III Conference in Quito Ecuador, held in October 2016, Cuba adopted the New Urban Agenda as a guide to define the priority actions on territorial and urban development in the country. Cuba has assumed the commitment to guide its national and local urban plans based on this Global Agenda.
Since 2017, UN-Habitat, together with the National Institute of Territorial and Urban Planning of Cuba and with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, has been working on promoting capacity building, fostering the exchange of local experiences, and updating urban planning tools in all the country's provinces, from Sandino, the westernmost municipality, to Maisi, in the far east coast of its territory.
To develop these actions, Cuba elaborated in 2018 a National Action Plan, in which the Government identified eight priority areas: housing, urban economy, technical infrastructure, mobility, risks and climate change, legislation, planning, and urban financing, with 24 lines of work and 74 actions for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda at the local level.
In 2019, the positive results of this Plan’s implementation led the Government to localize it to the state level, consolidating a State Plan for year 2036. The cities of Cuba acquired a rank of national interest, considered now a driver for sustainable development.
Cuba is the first country in the region and the second worldwide to report a State Plan in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Currently, the Plan covers 29 municipalities and is implemented through intersectoral coordination. It gives priority to territories with a lower degree of development and to groups in vulnerable conditions.
In March, UN-Habitat delivered technological equipment to municipal planning and urban development departments in four municipalities in the province of Guantánamo.
Likewise, officials, academics, and civil society received trainings to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in the Cuban context.
These activities allowed to learn from different communities’ and municipalities’ experiences and establish good practices that can be scaled up.
During 2022, UN-Habitat will continue to implement training programs, tools, and capacity building through exchange and participation. The goal is to expand the number of communities reached, without leaving anyone or no place behind.