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Atlas of Lebanon

Part 7 - Territorial Governance, Urban and National Planning

Part 7 – Territorial Governance, Urban and National Planning

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1Over the past decade, Lebanon has once again faced major challenges in terms of urban and land-use planning, while the governance in this sector has radically evolved compared to what it was during the previous period. These changes are noticeable on three different levels. First, the central State has lost its status as the main, even unique, actor, as much when it comes to regulation as to implementation. Despite the National Physical Master Plan for Lebanon, published in 2004, the political crises, which have been continuous since 2005, have prevented it from coordinating the operations and guiding the new actors entering the stage. The emergence of new levels of implementation and territorial governance is the second major change to have disrupted the landscape of territorial planning in Lebanon. With the 1998 municipal elections, the municipalities’ “comeback” marked an important moment in the revitalization of the local political life. Faced with the challenges of providing infrastructure, facilities and local services, the municipalities have more or less successfully improvised solutions. Calling in local partners, resorting to decentralized cooperation, and taking advantage of the support given by international organizations or the structures in charge of assisting municipalities created by some political parties have been among the means used by municipalities to mobilize the technical and financial resources they need to act in their territories. The multiplication of municipal unions, including after 2005, also attests the new importance of this level of governance and implementation as much for the municipalities as for donors and local actors. These changes in scale have led to a third type of mutation which has affected the tools and practices of urban and land-use planning. Through strategic planning, participatory approaches, or the informal set-up of “alternative” projects focused on reconstruction, service supply or green and public spaces, new actors involved in territorial action have been experimenting new ways of working without limiting themselves to the traditional regulatory tools used in the field of urban planning in Lebanon. Nonetheless, this profusion of actors, scales and projects carries a risk of complexity, conflicts and contradictions that can in some cases lead to inertia.

Figure VII-1: Tripoli International Fair

Figure VII-1: Tripoli International Fair

(© Grace Rihan Hanna, 2006)

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure VII-1: Tripoli International Fair
Crédits (© Grace Rihan Hanna, 2006)
Fichier image/jpeg, 132k

© Presses de l’Ifpo, 2019

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