by Conner Gorry
On a hot summer night a little riverside amphitheater thrums with a thousand voices, the sweaty, cathartic chorus reaching deep into the surrounding woods. While young punks and pretty debutantes perch in giant jacarandas for a bird’s eye view of the onstage party, Cuba’s future IM their friends about what they’re missing. And what they’re missing is historic.
On this and similar incandescent Havana evenings, Cuban musicians have resuscitated one of the giants of 20th-century urbanism in a series of raucous outdoor concerts in enchanting venues like the Parque Almendares Amphitheater and the Jardines de la Tropical.
Today, both are part of Havana’s Gran Parque Metropolitano, a 700-hectare park currently undergoing an ambitious restoration plan that includes retrofitting and reforesting, environmental protection, neighborhood revitalization, and cultural activities like these concerts. Parque Metropolitano–one of the world’s greatest but least known urban parks–was the dream project of French landscape architect and city planner Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, best known for the Eiffel Tower’s Champs-de-Mars gardens and the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona.
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