Landscape and Urban Governance: Participatory Planning of the Public Realm in Saida, Lebanon | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
June 2018
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© 2018 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The political shift in Lebanon since the 1990s towards market-led development has encouraged the incremental appropriation of public spaces and state lands, and their conversion into gated, monitored enclaves that serve a privileged few. The process disregards the role of the urban public realm and undermines its potential as an inclusive space and enabling platform for urban governance. This article advocates a participatory approach to urban development, one that engages local stakeholders, institutions, and the public at large as active partners working towards sustainable urban futures. We draw on a case study in Saida, Lebanon, to illustrate participatory planning methods and demonstrate the role of landscape architects in enabling community-led development that is place responsive and sensitive to local narratives of heritage and identity. The project’s participatory methodology and landscape architecture’s expansive framing, the paper argues, democratizes the planning process and contributes to urban governance that empowers local authorities and local stakeholders in the face of privatization and market-led development.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Makhzoumi, Jala
Al-Sabbagh, Salwa


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