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April 21, 2002

Dear Guest,

The Board of Directors of Groundwork Institute is pleased that you have found our web site. This section features our most extensive effort from our 23 year history, the creation of a new town for 20,000 people at the edge of Havana, Cuba. This development, intentionally integrated into an existing neighborhood which was renovated in the process, was a joint effort of many Cuban government ministries, agencies, community groups and Groundwork Institute.

Huck Rorick, Groundwork Executive Director, conceived the project, building a sustained relationship with key Cuban officials including Fidel Castro who was instrumental in moving the project forward (see memo from that meeting). Through his singular effort, energy, talent and commitment, and with the support of a large number of dedicated professionals who volunteered their time, this project helped create a new model of development in Cuba. It shifted the emphasis away from inherited cold climate Soviet prefabricated construction & barren site planning to one of a more humane scale in settings that retained native land forms and landscapes.

What follows is part of Huck’s personal odyssey from initial contacts in 1979 to conception of the project through its partial realization including setbacks caused by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the consequent disruption of the Cuban economy.

Our Board is proud to share this unusual accomplishment and to celebrate Huck’s and his colleagues' story in the hope that you will find the process and the product, a new town, relevant to your specific work and to the effort to create communities that are sustainable and grow out of the effort and reflect the life of the people who live in them.


Board Members:

     Mary Comerio

     Russ Ellis

     Sanford Hirshen


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