“No collectivity is possible without politics” Architects and urban planners are some of the many curators of a city. In response to BAC’s prompt, Collective for Architecture Lebanon (CAL) decided to highlight the antithesis of collaboration in Beirut through large scale urban interventions that were never implemented. These different projects intended for Beirut were never realized partly due to the lack of collaboration between different stakeholders, including policy makers, state actors and private entities. CAL wants to highlight the effects that those large scale projects might have had on the social, economic. political and urban practices of the city.
Post-civil war the lack of collaboration on large scale socially driven projects was exacerbated by the sectarian tensions and aggressive neo-liberal agenda put in place by former warlords. This led to a complete paralysis of the democratic process and the state’s institutions. This inaction has prevented any development or effort to cement the country and launch the necessary reforms that were needed to ensure social peace and development.
The 2019 uprising against the current system in place has provided a new opportunity to re-question the state practices and enhance collaboration and develop participatory practices between the state and its citizens.
1- Plan directeur de Beyrouth et ses banlieues, 1963. Michel Ecochard.
2- ELYSSAR master plan project, Beirut Lebanon late 1990s.
3- A 1968 USSR Study for a public transport proposal in Beirut.
Collective for Architecture Lebanon (CAL) is a non-profit organisation established in 2019, registered in Beirut. CAL’s aim is to create a cross-disciplinary platform for discussion and debate between the fields of architecture, design, urban planning and the humanities.