At the Edge of the City: Reinhabiting Public Space Toward the Recovery of Beirut’s Horsh Al-Sanawbar

Fadi Shayya (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


In 1992, the Municipality of Beirut and the Regional Council of Île-de-France signed a cooperation agreement that included funding the redesign of Beirut’s Park ‘Horsh Al-Sanawbar’ through a design competition. Since then, the park has been closed to the public except for minor trial periods and on the basis of obtaining special entry permits. In 2009, this book came as an activist research effort to document the status of Beirut’s park and public space and to bring back the park to public memory and the public debate sphere. The collaborative work is a critique of reading urban space, which builds on historical accounts of the park and employs multidisciplinary analysis in reading the complexities of space. Rather than looking at it as an isolated, recreational, urban program, the work conceptualizes the park as a continuation of the city’s cultural and infrastructural landscapes. The work covers issues of space & place, memory, citizenship, social practices, urban governance, activism, environment, discourse and design. The project started with an awareness of the imperative nature of communicating research to a wide audience and of informing political change avenues with contemporary empirical findings and conceptual frameworks. In its own way, the book acts as a platform for a multitude of stakeholders in Beirut’s urban space and for the viewpoints of professionals across disciplines contributing to knowledge production about Beirut’s public space.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBeirut
PublisherDiscursive Formations
ISBN (Print)978-9953-0-1537-8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Beirut
  • Park
  • Public space
  • urbanism
  • everyday cultural practices
  • war memory


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