Accepted paper:

Duality between urban strategy and territorial reappropriation in the new down-town of Beirut


Hélène Balhawan (CLERSE - CNRS)

Paper short abstract:

Since its creation, the notion of gentrification is used in the social, political and urban studies to describe transformations of city centers. The aim of this communication is to question gentrification paradigm through the case of the Beirut downtown reconstruction

Paper long abstract:

In recent decades the city centers are the preys of the new urban projects such as the renovations, the rehabilitations, the revitalization or the reconstructions. This kind of projects is not only a translation of urban transformations but also social, economic and political changes. The down-town of Beirut has been the subject of urban reconstruction. Ruled by the Lebanese private company SOLIDERE after the civil war (1975-1990), the rebuilt of Beirut down-town changes the structure and the function of its public space (Martyrs, Riad el Solh and Nejme squares). Our attention will be focused on the different logics of the private company to rebuild the down-town and the changes that they have caused. Then, this communication will be interested in underlining and understanding the existing tensions between the SOLIDERE logics of "gentrification" and the different reappropriations of the public space by the Lebanese people.

panel PE04
Enquiring into the urban form through governing practices and social organisation (IUAES Commission on Urban Anthropology )