Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Atlas of Lebanon

Part 4 - Intense Urbanization

Disputes over the Maritime Public Domain

Ghaleb Faour, Éric Verdeil et Dictaphone Group

Texte intégral

1The urbanization process is concentrated in the coastal areas, especially along the coastline: the maritime public domain is subject to intensive exploitation, often illegally or in a way contradicting the general principles supposed to rule it. This occupation has been known precisely and documented by state services, even though it is in fact tolerated and sometimes facilitated. This attitude has become more and more controversial and denounced by civil actors who have been fighting private claims over public spaces, the environmental damages in which they result, and the financial speculation to which they are linked.

2The maritime public domain, delimited by the high-water mark, is owned by the State. Its exploitation is in theory only temporarily possible through authorizations and in return for payment. However, in reality, various laws and decrees have authorized uses related to tourism and other activities, covering an area of more than 2.5 million sq. m. Nonetheless, a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Transport, which is in charge of the maritime public domain, shows that violations to these rules account for a surface area which is equal to the authorized one.

Figure IV-10: Type and surface area of violations linked to the occupation of the maritime public domain in 2014

Figure IV-10: Type and surface area of violations linked to the occupation of the maritime public domain in 2014

3The highest number of violations has been recorded in Mount Lebanon and, secondarily, in South Lebanon. However, Mount Lebanon and North Lebanon are characterized by the largest illegally occupied surface areas, with a distinct predominance of tourism uses, in the form of “chalets” (complexes of small apartments) and artificial beaches with restricted access. These have been fueling segregation and real estate speculation. In the South, these illegal occupations are mostly oriented toward industrial activities. Various draft laws aimed at regularizing these illegal uses in exchange for taxes and fines benefiting the State have been discussed but never passed because they could have hurt powerful interests, several politicians being directly involved in this kind of practices. Law 64/2017 recently introduced a measure that aimed to change the situation.

4Beirut is one of the most emblematic cases of this illegal occupation of the maritime public domain, even though the surface areas in question seem limited. Indeed, the coastal areas in the capital have been largely built up and, most of all, have increasingly been claimed by private companies or exploited for private uses.

Figure IV-11: Illegal occupation of coastal areas in 2014 by caza

Figure IV-11: Illegal occupation of coastal areas in 2014 by caza

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure IV-10: Type and surface area of violations linked to the occupation of the maritime public domain in 2014
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/docannexe/image/13260/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 67k
Titre Figure IV-11: Illegal occupation of coastal areas in 2014 by caza
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/docannexe/image/13260/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 150k
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/docannexe/image/13260/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 294k

© Presses de l’Ifpo, 2019

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540