UCL Grand Challenges


Assessment of alternative transport models for Havana

Assessment of alternative transport models for Havana

1 October 2012


Grant: Grand Challenges Small Grants
Year awarded: 2012-13
Amount awarded: £5,000


  • Emily Morris, Institute of the Americas, Social & Historical Sciences
  • Julio Davila, DPU, The Bartlett/Built Environment

This project aims to grasp an opportunity for the development of a sustainable transport system that is unlikely to be repeated. The interest of Cuba’s Ministry of Transport in working with UCL reflects its new interest in climate change mitigation, and Havana’s exceptionally low level of car ownership presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate an alternative to the car-based urban transport systems that are contributing an increasing share of CO2 emissions, exacerbating congestion, pollution, danger and creating unliveable urban environments in many countries.

The city could provide a precious test-bed for the application of UCL’s advanced expertise and knowledge networks in transport planning, technologies and management, to explore strategies that could eventually be applicable to other countries.

Outputs and Impacts

  • Establishment of Cuba Research Network (CRN) - a collaborative network of researchers in the UK and Cuba
  • Briefing notes for a June 2013 workshop at UCL on Havana’s transport challenges
  • Presentations at International Conference on Environment and Development and Sustainable Cities symposium
  • Visit to UK by Cuban Ministry of Transport (Mitrans) researchers