The Center for Research, Studies and Documentation of the Higher Institute of Business (ESA), in cooperation with the Institute of Environmental Change at the University of Oxford and the French Institute for the Near East, held a conference Sunday on the "resilience of cities in post-conflict periods", in presence of Beirut Governor Ziad Chebib.
Taking the word, Chebib spoke about the history of downtown Beirut, which symbolizes everything that has happened in Lebanon since its inception, and is now "a model of immunity, reconstruction, susceptibility to life and continuity."
"Since 1990 to-date, several urban improvements have led to a distortion of the public space, and caused the decline of public greenery and the loss of a large part of our national heritage and our social fabric," he added.
Chebib considered that the lack of planning in the post-war stages led to a large displacement, noting as well that the pre-war period was not better in terms of organization and the implementation of strategic plans for the city.
"Beirut is a steadfast and resilient city, destroyed in 1975, and before that as well due to natural and unnatural reasons, as is known, and reconstructed 7 times throughout history. Today, it is widely recognized for its immunity and viability," the Governor stated.
He spoke about the issue of "internal and external displacement", pointing to "the line of petition dividing Beirut into two parts." He said: "It was required to do something for citizens to forget about this subject especially that in the literature of some, the usage of 'East and West Beirut' term still exists."
Commenting on the "Horsh Beirut", Shebib stressed the importance of this site, deeming it a great place to meet and has become a model to be followed in many areas in Lebanon.
Turning to the horse race field, which was founded in 1916, he said that it has become the venue for the most important events, festivals, exhibitions and activities.
On the subject of the heritage buildings, Chebib said: "The demolition of any heritage building is rejected, and we are cooperating in this matter with the Ministry of Culture."
Finally, he indicated that "the aspirations of the Beirut Municipal Council are large and alike."
Source: National News Agency