tutor | david aouad
DIVIDED CITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING
In a city more divided than ever, impoverished by a series of overlapping poor management, where sectarianism has emerged as a crucial mobilizing agent in the struggle for urban reform or preservation, this studio will investigate neighborhood planning as a flexible framework that one must undertake to provide the divided city of Beirut a healthy and sustainable development. By introducing a small-scale governance structure, neighborhood planning along with local and specific architectural solutions, will create an intermediate level between the municipality, citizens, and other local actors, enhancing its social capital and leading eventually to an undivided planning strategy at a city scale. In most cases, a divided society will eventually generate a divided urban space, hence a clear interrelation is made between a divided society and a divided city. Inequalities can aggravate inconsistencies and abandon society’s most vulnerable members. In extremely divided cities, the most notable processes behind division are political and ideological oppressions like wars, as well as divide-and-rule and exit strategies of the colonizers. This challenging situation is well reflected in questions of identity, national sovereignty, territory, culture, and religion. Coupled with multiple socio-economic differences, cities can often be divided and rather than providing economic chance to people with different milieus and skills, specific groups find themselves often isolated in specific neighborhoods facing limitations to access opportunities, amenities, and services. While considering the multiple dimensions of inequality, in income levels, migration, and accessibility, it could be argued that there is a strong correlation between spatial inequalities and segregation in cities.