Author(s): Valladares A
The Community Architect Program was created in Cuba in 1994 to support self-help housing construction. Since the creation of the program, the community architects have used participatory techniques to provide technical advice to residents who wish to build, expand or renovate their homes. The article documents the codification and implementation of a new participatory design method, and its use by more than a thousand professional community architects on the island. The research looks at the institutional features characterizing the Community Architect Program and examines how these institutional features facilitate the practice of participatory design within the context of existing land use and building regulations. The paper analyzes the Cuban experience within the context of ongoing debates about participation in urban and housing processes.