Beirut Green River Project Photos

After a lunchtime interview with the ebullient Phillipe Skaff, head of Lebanon’s Green Party (his lunch consisted of two Montecristos) I was handed images of the exciting ‘Green River Project’.

The idea that Beirut has lacked green spaces as much as it still lacks centralized planning and development strategies is nothing new, but Mr Skaff has decided enough is enough.

One of the park areas in the Beirut River Project

The 10-year plan to turn the 8.5km of Beirut’s ‘river’ into a conservation area containing parks, nature reserves, bike-paths, sports facilities, cafes and verdant boulevards is ambitious, but Mr Skaff believes all parties and peoples will benefit from better use of what is for most of the year a dumping ground.

Green space with the view of Emile Lahoud highway

Real estate space will be sold either side of the river’s length, allowing developers to build in an environmentally responsible way, as well as generating the initial capital to make this an entirely privately funded project.

Around 600,000 people live in the areas surrounding the river from Hazmieh to Qarantina, and Skaff hopes to build a high-speed electric train to take commuters along the project’s span.

I am not so naive as to suggest this project is close to becoming a reality. If nothing else, it spans seven municipalities, so getting each to agree to give up land which they themselves own might by tricky, to say the least.

The seven municipalities the project will span

Skaff has been lobbying lawmakers and plans to get people on the ground enthusiastic and passionate about the project, forcing real decision makers into a pincer movement of acceptance. Even if money talks in construction, they will find the privately funded project profitable. I can’t see any insurmountable objections to what could become a green haven in grey Beirut.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Patrick,

    First of all, thank you for providing such a clear visual and detailed description of this up and coming ‘green lung’ that Beirut so desperately needs.
    I am a Lebanese/British student currently in my final year at university studying Landscape Architecture. I was wondering if you knew of any one I could speak to about getting involved?
    Best regards,
    Jad Ghaziri

  2. Rami a. says

    Patrick,

    Thank you for the breath taking photos.

    Philippe,

    Your vision is flawless and I can’t wait to hear you speak at Formatech’s Green IT conference on the 15th of December at USJ.

    Beirut has been missing this green haven to remind us and show the rest of the world how beautiful our city really is.

  3. Joseph Rizkallah says

    Great project; I’m hoping this is actually accomplished and Mr.Skaff becomes the man to turn the dry, dull and dirty Beirut river into this green haven all the citizens of this amazing city wish it to become. 10 years seem like a long way away, but who knows, it might take them less if they are serious about giving Beirut it’s lungs back. Good luck to all who are planning and hoping for this beautiful project to become real and hope to see a different river environment to the capital.

  4. Samer says

    this is a great idea but forget about the cafes, just attracts more pollution and unnecessary annoyances. Keep it green and for the people. Maybe one or two MAX and small and chilled. WE NEED GREEN AREAS PUBLIC FOR ANYONE but this thing should have its own guards; like forest guards or patrols that make sure people dont litter and respect the area and the people around them.

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