Projecting Beirut: Episodes in the Construction and Reconstruction of a Modern City deals with two specific periods in urban development in modern Beirut. The first coincides with the government intervention of the late 1950s to the late 1960s, and the second episode is about the increasing private-sector involvement in planning and reconstruction after the civil war, dating from the early 1990s.
Beirut is a fascinating example of modern city building, and the authors’ insights into its urban redevelopment apply to other places as well. Pressing contemporary issues, such as the resolution and celebration of social pluralism and multiculturalism, as well as historic preservation, conservation, and the integration of historic archaeological sites into contemporary urban life are also brought into focus. In Beirut and elsewhere, it is a matter of building upon what is already there, of acknowledging and preserving the past while progressing into the future, and of deciding what consititutes an appropriate urban-architectural heritage.
This informative book is divided into six parts which deal with Beirut’s urban history and archaeology, modern architecture, and planning, together with the socio-economic framework for reconstruction and the social and political backdrop to which urban projects must respond. A final section summarizes the important issues to be confronted in the present reconstruction of Beirut and its future as a flourishing Mediterranean city. The volume is illustrated throughout with original archival material, including photographs and drawings.