Minutes of meeting - 20200727
Bloc’s Name: Public Spaces
Coordinator’s Name: Yasmine Dagher
Date: 27 of July 2020
Guest Speaker: None
Attending Members: Online meeting
- Mohammad Serhan (Left early)
- Yasmine El-Majzoub
- Yasmine Dagher
- Marie Michele Hayek
- Antoine Atallah
Summary of Meeting Minutes:
Since we are entering another lockdown period, the bloc decided to start a planning period for several projects, which will be presented to several actors.
- We discussed the Beirut Municipality project concerning the Corniche – Ain El-Mreisseh, and its counter proposal (Beirut Madinati project). This project diminishes the natural rocks and sea beds, it also eliminates popular practices, such as fishing, walking, and several activities. The public practices will slowly disappear with the Municipality’s proposal. The project is also linked to the BRT system (Rapid Bus Transit), which is a subject discussed in the Environment and Sustainable Development Bloc. We could maybe partner up with the Environment Bloc, and propose an alternative that includes the BRT.
- Secondly, we also discussed the situation of Nahr Beirut. Beirut RiverLess (The Other Dada – Adib Dada), did a project on the Beirut River a few years ago, we can try and contact him, and propose his project to the Municipality. The Public Spaces Bloc has an advanges, since we have two contacts in charge of Public Spaces within the Municipality (Pierre Ferghali & Gaby Ferneini). Nahr Beirut could be an interesting project since it connects several neighborhoods (Bourj Hammoud, Mar Mikhael, Jeitawi, Badaro, Sin El Fil). We can learn from the “Canal St. Martin” in the 10th district of Paris, which has pedestrian bridges, as well as café and pubs along the river front.
- Antoine proposed creating a Master Plan for Beirut’s Public Spaces, as well as policies, taking as a base the “Plan Vert de Beyrouth” as well as “Plan Lumiere” (2011 – AFD). The Plan Vert is a survey of all of the green spaces in Beirut (not just public gardens). Beirut used to be a green city, and with new construction, the greenery is slowly fading away. Even our public gardens lack of greenery. The municipality bought empty plots a few years ago, and decided to turn them into parkings rather than creating green spaces. Our role would be to propose a policy regarding those lands, and to the whole city.
- Finally, we decided to divide into two groups: one would be for Action Planning (stunts, events in Public Spaces), and the second one would be for Policies and Master Planning, with Antoine as the lead of this project.
Work on Policy, Planning and Actions
Decisions and To Do Lists with Timeframe:
- Recruit more members
- Have a meeting with Camille and Paula, from the National Bloc research team
- Proposal of several projects, in order to vote for one
- Update the list of partners, depending on the project
- Have a meeting with Pierre Feghali or Gaby Ferneini