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Geography is about more than just the location, coordinates, and position of things on Earth. Geography also studies the physical and human characteristics of places. From the dimensions of a single room to the extent of a cultural region or the entirety of the globe itself, geographers explore the meaning, function, and history of places, how places change, and how they are perceived.

Case Study: Restoring Havana

Explore how Havana, Cuba has evolved over the years and the impact humans may have over places and locations. To read about the changes in Havana, scroll though the story below.

Havana, with its salty mists and hurricanes, has experienced profound changes over the past 500 years. The city, founded by Spanish Conquistadors who established the Old City in its present location, has seen its fortunes rise and fall with the tides of history. The collapse of the Soviet Union was a pivotal event that plunged Cuba's economy into disarray, forcing the nation to adapt and seek new avenues for revenue.Tourism emerged as a crucial lifeline, bringing much-needed funds to restore and preserve Havana's rich cultural heritage. In 1982, "Old Havana and its Fortification System" achieved UNESCO World Heritage status, a testament to its historical significance. By 2012, the success of the Old City's preservation program was globally recognized, earning it a place among UNESCO's 25 examples of best practices in World Heritage management.Investment in the countryside has spurred changes, reflecting a broader trend of policy and social reforms. The government’s legalization of personal cellphones and texting in 2008, followed by personal email in 2014, marked significant steps toward modernization. These reforms have helped to reshape Havana, blending its storied past with the promises of the future.