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Beirut, from Puzzle to Mosaic.

Gaelle Khalil

Beirut, from Puzzle to Mosaic.

Rel. Mario Artuso, Silvia Crivello. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile, 2023

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Appealing to the metaphor of “therapeutic urban acupuncture”, this thesis will experiment this framework on Beirut – an area with puzzled socio-cultural and economical conflicts. Beirut grapples with the pressing challenge of limited, almost non-existent, public spaces. In recent years, Beirut has encountered acute difficulties, such as political unrest, social tensions, an economic downturn, and environmental degradation. Neighborhoods in the city have suffered from big neglect, a lack of investment, and social fragmentation as a result of these difficulties. On top of that, the government in Lebanon has been criticized for its inability or unwillingness to effectively address the various problems and challenges facing the country. This scarcity of public spaces poses significant implications for the well-being and unity of Beirut's inhabitants, as it restricts opportunities for social cohesion, recreation, and cultural exchange, an urgent need after the chronology of traumatic events. To address these challenges and promote community resilience and sustainable growth, urban acupuncture has emerged as a promising approach. Contemporary planning faces numerous challenges, but there is potential for revitalization through the concept of urban acupuncture. Imagine using targeted landscapes to breathe new life into abandoned communities. Envision cities designed as focal points of urban acupuncture, where strategic interventions can stimulate positive change and inject vitality into neglected areas, providing meeting spaces in a deprived context. By embracing this approach, we can harness the power of localized interventions to address urban issues and create thriving, resilient communities. Urban acupuncture offers a promising framework for transforming our cities into vibrant and sustainable spaces. The goal of this thesis is to explore the possibilities of urban acupuncture in creating and revitalizing public spaces in Beirut. By examining the city's unique interplay of socio-cultural conflicts, we aim to identify vulnerable areas that require regeneration. We then proceed to analyse urban voids as potential spaces and apply the research of urban acupuncture in their development. Through a nuanced understanding of Beirut's specific context, we will explore ways in which creative, tactical, and selective small-scale (but scalable) interventions can unleash their potential as a cost-effective and politically expedient way to animate tangible urban transformation at the “brick-and-mortar street level”, and allowing citizens to take a leadership role in bottom-up planning (Milstead, 2017) This approach has been successfully applied in various cities worldwide, including Taipei, and can be tailored to Beirut's specific needs and challenges.

Relators: Mario Artuso, Silvia Crivello
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 126
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/27297
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