Planning for simultaneous transience and stability : neighborhood transformations in Nabaa, Beirut
Author(s)El Alam, Tania
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Nabaa is one of the most marginalized neighborhoods of Beirut; it is abandoned by the public authorities and therefore lacks basic service provision. Due to its own history and to larger socio-political events impacting it, Nabaa has become home to a nationally, ethnically and religiously mixed population. The purpose of this study is to conceptualize urban planning in the context of population transience. It uncovers how communities negotiate their differences and diversities in their everyday life. These issues are important because planners rarely propose policies for neighborhoods and communities with a high population turnover. Different lenses are used throughout this thesis to articulate the problems associated with transience of populations. The first one frames the study of the evolution of land ownership transfers and lot subdivisions, as recorded in archival documents, in a context that has led to the permanence of the population and to the disruption of the urbanization process. Another lens maps the socio-spatial relations between the various groups of Nabaa, revealing the conflicting identities and highlighting how they materialize in space. A third lens relates the characteristics that define population flux by looking at the duration of stay, locational mobility, ownership status, as well as comfort and knowledge of place. It addresses the creation of the various communities and what drives them to invest in their place of living. The fourth lens examines how inter-group relations are based on systems of coexistence and networks of support that are negotiated in the everyday life of residents, specifically in how they manage the visual culture of the place. Lastly, I build on these findings to propose recommendations for planners in Beirut.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 134-137).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.