Urbanism in lebanon

O Brother

O Brother

Legendary Member
It's funny that we often agree on the state of things, but we almost always disagree on the causes and solutions :p
But you haven't really heard what I think the solution is :oops:

I love simple, beautiful and detailed architecture yet practical!
I can advice you to read about Hassan Fathy a very famous Egyptian architecture who talked about all this issues way before anyone else did!
He explains in detail about all these issues you are thinking about.. you would love this man I certainly do!
When I listened to his interviews and read his book it was like he spoke what is in my heart.. look him up :)


anyway I need to sleep all these picture damaged my brain before going to bed!!! :(
One last thing that really, really annoys me at least in Tripoli those huge pavements gaps/edges sometimes they are like 50cm high!!!! like whyyyyy?
 
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  • Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    The problem with our urban design has three legs:
    1- urban design regulations are weak and Municipalities dont strictly apply them
    2- remaking it requires a massive amount of capital investment
    3- there is a big social problem (space getting more limited, population growing, poverty increasing)

    Of course the war and ensuing chaos didn’t help, but we need to tackle all 3 areas and give it time to improve:
    - make a massive effort of urban design regulations that include public areas (gardens, squares, parking areas etc...)
    - strengthen municipalities and resource them to ensure nothing new comes up outside of the new design, including government projects like roads and bridges. It also requires enforcing rental laws and municipality tax collection...
    - tackle the social issue first by ensuring whatever new developments cover all ranges of income, if we only want to shoot for delux apartments that the rich can afford we will create a bigger issue

    This is a massive effort, it requires decades of hard work without political maniake...
    rental laws play a major role in maintaining buildings and keeping them appealing to attract new tenants, pending that they generate enough income revenue to implement these oftentimes costly maintenance. thousands of apartments in and around beirut are rented out for a ridiculously small sum that is oftentime less than LL50000 yearly. in many situations, the property is estimated at several million dollars, while the owners are literally starving and cannot put food on their tables, let alone renovate and maintain these buildings. i personally know of one landlord who relies on the charity restaurant chains otherwise he would starve, while some of the tenants in his building are pretty wealthy and most of their children are working abroad and doing exceptionally well.

    the owners associations has been trying to tackle this issue for the last 25 years to no avail. so i do not put much stock in the ability of the parliament to pass and implement new urban development laws. aslan the geography and demographics of Lebanon require a step away from classical urban planning and a necessitates a different approach, particularly that a good number of buildings is now standing beyond the average life span of the cement used in their construction, this is yet another pandora's box that most politicians would rather ignore and not open.
     
    !Aoune32

    !Aoune32

    Well-Known Member
    rental laws play a major role in maintaining buildings and keeping them appealing to attract new tenants, pending that they generate enough income revenue to implement these oftentimes costly maintenance. thousands of apartments in and around beirut are rented out for a ridiculously small sum that is oftentime less than LL50000 yearly. in many situations, the property is estimated at several million dollars, while the owners are literally starving and cannot put food on their tables, let alone renovate and maintain these buildings. i personally know of one landlord who relies on the charity restaurant chains otherwise he would starve, while some of the tenants in his building are pretty wealthy and most of their children are working abroad and doing exceptionally well.

    they have been trying to tackle this issue for the last 25 years to no avail. so i do not put much stock in the ability of the parliament to pass and implement new urban development laws. aslan the geography and demographics of Lebanon require a step away from classical urban planning and a necessitates a different approach, particularly with a good number of buildings are standing beyond the average life span of the cement used in their construction, this is yet another pandora's box that most politicians would rather ignore and not open.
    I know a person who rents an apartment from 30 years on the old rent which are pretty poor and he had to do the renovation himself on the apartment. He had to change the windows, doors, electricity, air conditioner, kel chi.
    Outside for example if one was renting your apartment if these were not working or installed he would call you to do this. This doesn't happen in Lebanon.
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    It is too late to do anything to be honest. You cannot rip buildings out of their roots and just say khalas.
    That's the whole tragedy. The ugly is here to stay.
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    I know a person who rents an apartment from 30 years on the old rent which are pretty poor and he had to do the renovation himself on the apartment. He had to change the windows, doors, electricity, air conditioner, kel chi.
    Outside for example if one was renting your apartment if these were not working or installed he would call you to do this. This doesn't happen in Lebanon.
    it depends, usually the new rental contract include a clause that the tenant cannot implement any changes without the approval of the owner, but these laws matter very little in Lebanon. even under the new rental laws, if a dispute occurs between the two parties, it may teak years for the courts to issue a verdict, and that is not going to change in the near future.. i also know of a real estate dispute that has been in court for over 40 years now and the courts have yet to issue a verdict... go figure.
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    That's the whole tragedy. The ugly is here to stay.
    how many of these buildings do you think will still be standing if a 6.0 hits? so they will stay, but just for a little while..
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    But you haven't really heard what I think the solution is :oops:

    I love simple, beautiful and detailed architecture yet practical!
    I can advice you to read about Hassan Fathy a very famous Egyptian architecture who talked about all this issues way before anyone else did!
    He explains in detail about all these issues you are thinking about.. you would love this man I certainly do!
    When I listened to his interviews and read his book it was like he spoke what is in my heart.. look him up :)
    anyway I need to sleep all these picture damaged my brain before going to bed!!! :(
    If you have any quotes from him, you can share them :)

    And sorry for the headache. Feeling sort of nauseous myself.

    Good night!
     
    Walidos

    Walidos

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    rental laws play a major role in maintaining buildings and keeping them appealing to attract new tenants, pending that they generate enough income revenue to implement these oftentimes costly maintenance. thousands of apartments in and around beirut are rented out for a ridiculously small sum that is oftentime less than LL50000 yearly. in many situations, the property is estimated at several million dollars, while the owners are literally starving and cannot put food on their tables, let alone renovate and maintain these buildings. i personally know of one landlord who relies on the charity restaurant chains otherwise he would starve, while some of the tenants in his building are pretty wealthy and most of their children are working abroad and doing exceptionally well.

    the owners associations has been trying to tackle this issue for the last 25 years to no avail. so i do not put much stock in the ability of the parliament to pass and implement new urban development laws. aslan the geography and demographics of Lebanon require a step away from classical urban planning and a necessitates a different approach, particularly that a good number of buildings is now standing beyond the average life span of the cement used in their construction, this is yet another pandora's box that most politicians would rather ignore and not open.
    True, if you think about it we are looking for a complete overhaul of our social contract and the urban design side is like the output measure... I maintain it requires decades of consistent hammering at a strategy, and importantly, at the culture of our nation... because culture eats strategy for breakfast!
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    That's another thought that crosses my mind. And that would be an even bigger tragedy.
    add to it that we are not equipped to deal with anything of the sort. a few years ago a single building crumbled down in achrafieh and though that was a tragedy and left about 20 people dead, it revealed the sorry state of the rescue agencies and how disastrous the rescue efforts were..
     
    !Aoune32

    !Aoune32

    Well-Known Member
    it depends, usually the new rental contract include a clause that the tenant cannot implement any changes without the approval of the owner, but these laws matter very little in Lebanon. even under the new rental laws, if a dispute occurs between the two parties, it may teak years for the courts to issue a verdict, and that is not going to change in the near future.. i also know of a real estate dispute that has been in court for over 40 years now and the courts have yet to issue a verdict... go figure.
    I think the whole issue was caused due to the civil war. There were many christians in West Beirut prior to the war. There was alot of muslims in East Beirut. When the war happened alot of these people had to go somewhere and this is when all these buildings popped up. Alot of the christians masalan in West Beirut went to East Beirut and its surrounding towns and built apartments for them to live in. Now these surroundings are huge and all over the place. There was no state to put them in the right direction at that time. Then when there was a state its main focus was to put the economy and rebuild Beirut and its airport back not focusing on these surrounding areas and the displacement that has happened by all the sects.
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    True, if you think about it we are looking for a complete overhaul of our social contract and the urban design side is like the output measure... I maintain it requires decades of consistent hammering at a strategy, and importantly, at the culture of our nation... because culture eats strategy for breakfast!
    i agree, culture a fundamental element of urban planning, and in almost everything else as well. but though we still possess a few cultivated people, we definitely no longer have anything that resembles a culture, even remotely. that alone requires several generation to rebuild assuming we wake up to find all our daily issues solved tomorrow and concentrate our efforts on that.
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    I think the whole issue was caused due to the civil war. There were many christians in West Beirut prior to the war. There was alot of muslims in East Beirut. When the war happened alot of these people had to go somewhere and this is when all these buildings popped up. Alot of the christians masalan in West Beirut went to East Beirut and its surrounding towns and built apartments for them to live in. Now these surroundings are huge and all over the place. There was no state to put them in the right direction at that time. Then when there was a state its main focus was to put the economy and rebuild Beirut and its airport back not focusing on these surrounding areas and the displacement that has happened by all the sects.
    it began with the civil war, but most of the damage was done afterwards. but beirut was already an ugly grey cement block even before the war, this is one of the reasons why Lebanese writers and poets used to romanticize the city lights seen twinkling from far in the night, rather than the actual city in the day :)
     
    !Aoune32

    !Aoune32

    Well-Known Member
    it began with the civil war, but most of the damage was done afterwards. but beirut was already an ugly grey cement block even before the war, this is one of the reasons why Lebanese writers and poets used to romanticize the city lights seen twinkling from far in the night, rather than the actual city in the day :)
    But in these buildings there is a population that lives there. They aren't just empty buildings with no one living there. There must have been some population shifting towards Hazmieh masalan from other areas. Beirut and its suburbs have always had the biggest funding from the state and other areas forgotten altogether but alot of areas in the North masalan do not look like this.
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    But in these buildings there is a population that lives there. They aren't just empty buildings with no one living there. There must have been some population shifting towards Hazmieh masalan from other areas. Beirut and its suburbs have always had the biggest funding from the state and other areas forgotten altogether but alot of areas in the North masalan do not look like this.
    the problem of the displaced was solved almost in its entirety. you want my honest opinion? the problem of the ancient rental law is not being solved because most (not all) the owners are Christians. had it been otherwise a solution would have been implemented by now.
     
    !Aoune32

    !Aoune32

    Well-Known Member
    the problem of the displaced was solved almost in its entirety. you want my honest opinion? the problem of the ancient rental law is not being solved because most (not all) the owners are Christians. had it been otherwise a solution would have been implemented by now.
    maybe it could be the case. But the renters are mostly christians also. I know 2-3 people which are christians and they are renters under the old law.
     
    !Aoune32

    !Aoune32

    Well-Known Member
    that is also true.
    I dont think its an issue with christians or muslims. It is very hard to find a solution to the issue. In Al Mina for example if you were to take out the christians that are under the old law you would take out 50% of the christian inhabitants in the area. The would have no home and no where to go.
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    it began with the civil war, but most of the damage was done afterwards. but beirut was already an ugly grey cement block even before the war, this is one of the reasons why Lebanese writers and poets used to romanticize the city lights seen twinkling from far in the night, rather than the actual city in the day :)
    From the old pictures available...it was nothing like it is today...

    Some parts of Beirut proper are actually still nice. I would rather live in them than some of the suburbs.
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Let's travel inland before we pursue our coastal journey :p For those who thought the hills are being spared from concrete...nope, it's creeping up!










     
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