The competition called for revisiting dominant regimes of development and land-use that govern Lebanese regions, by taking as an entry point the struggle of the Koura region with the quarries and factories of the cement oligopoly. The competition invited students and practitioners to articulate sustainable proposals for development that prioritize the needs of local communities. The competition brief was produced following a year-long participatory research process in Koura, and competition entries were reviewed by a jury that brought together local representatives, activists and experts. The competition was, at its core, a radical response to the absence of transparency and participation in decision-making generally, and in urban planning specifically. Click on the image above to access the competition's resources and website.
Master-Planning in Lebanon: Manufacturing Landscapes of Inequality
Over the past decade, many urban geographers engaged with the relation between law and geography, in an attempt to clarify the connections between these two increasingly complex concepts. In Lebanon, law has often been seen as a process that is devoid of a social dimension. In fact, it has been reduced to how the political class influences legislations, which has had a deep impact on planning and urban development. In this project, we studied the practice of urban planning in Lebanon, the mechanisms that produce masterplans, and the ways in which they replicate existing inequalities and maintain the dominance of the privileged over the landscape. Click on the image above to access resources and read more about the project.
In Mar Elias Camp, as in other Palestinian camps, the built environment and shared spaces are in deteriorating conditions. Development projects that are implemented in these settings rarely correspond to the aspirations and needs of camp residents. Departing from the importance of involving camp residents, and especially youth, in urban planning, development projects, and spatial interventions in the camp, we devised the workshop “Camp Radio” as a process for creative thinking and for working with camp residents to involve them in deciding the future of their environment, especially their shared spaces. Click on the image above for resources and more about this project.