Posted by: r.m. | May 28, 2009

Save Sanayeh

I just received this email:

“The head of Beirut Municipality, Mr. Abdul Munim Aris, wants to transform part of the Sanayeh Park (5,000 meters), and other parks, into car parking. This project has been submitted to the Prime Minister’s office for approval. What disturbed rational is behind taking away even one square meter of the very few ones that make this Ottoman era park a spot where kids can play without endangering their lives?

Join the sit in, Sanayeh Park, this Saturday May 30, 10:00 am.

This is not only about supporting Sanayeh residents but to send a clear signal to officials to rethink their policies. First Sanayeh, then other parks, then?

Join the Facebook group Savers of Sanayeh (SOS)

Sanayeh saw generations of children learning how to drive a bicycle . Where else can you do so in Beirut safely? It is one of the few green lungs in a city of concrete and cars. The 21st century policy of dealing with congested streets is to reduce cars by modernizing and developing public transport and NOT by creating more space for cars at the expense of green lungs.

Mobilize your friends, forward this email to them.

See you in Sanayeh on Saturday,




  1. Not to be the one that spoils the party but I was wondering if there is actually more information on this project. No one can deny that the area is in need of additional parking facilities. But maybe there is a plan to integrate both a park and parking into one. Maybe it might be an underground parking system with a park area above ground, similar to the underground parking in front of Beirut Municipality?

    These are just thoughts and if I was in Lebanon, I would definitely get in touch with the Municipality directly. I’ve sent the municipality an email, hopefully they respond.

    Good luck with the demonstration.

  2. Jad,

    There are no such plans. Quite the contrary, there is a worry that the parking lot will only be a lot for 2 years and after that it would be transformed into yet another development (i.e. more buildings).

    The issue of green space in Beirut is important for a number of reasons: (1) economic importance of trees in a city (eg – reduces energy costs); (2) mental importance of trees in a city (eg – proven that green spaces reduce stress and provide a place of needed respite); (3) environmental importance of trees in a city (eg – for the birds); (4) cultural importance of trees in a city (eg – a free and public space for all the citizens); and (5) historic importance of Sanayeh in particular (eg – place of refuge for refugees from the July 2006 war).

    What an ugly city Beirut is becoming, and what an unwelcoming city for the poor.


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