There have been some national surveys on the number of families that live in Beirut under rent control, the last of which was conducted in 2004, showing that Bachoura has the highest percentage of old tenants in municipal Beirut. Yet these surveys do not offer an in-depth understanding about these families’ livelihoods, nor their spatial context and urban concerns. Mapping tenancy in Bachoura was the first step towards producing the necessary knowledge to articulate the right that these families have to the city.
Sarah Bitar, Abbas Sbeity, Cynthia Matar, Mahasen Halabi, May Hajjar, May Nabhan, Aya Chahine, Mahmoud Safadi, Jessy Bou Gerges, Ibrahim Souaidan, Marwa Mezyad, Dima Raydan, Rachid Abi Aad, Zainab Hassan, Malak Rahal, Reem Mezher, Marcel Khatib, Amer Mohtar, Daria Samad
Lebanese Economic Association
You can download the publication on this link
Since its establishment in 1994, Solidere Company delineated clear boundaries around its area of jurisdiction. Neighborhoods surrounding it constitute the remaining fabric of what once was the historic city of Beirut. The majority of these neighborhoods are dense urban clusters, with a majority of old tenants inhabiting them, and constantly threatened by eviction due to planned real estate projects overlooking “Solidere”.
Bashoura, located just south of downtown Beirut, is yet another neighborhood living with this constant threat of erasure. To articulate the right that the families in Bashoura have to the city and to housing, we conducted a training workshop that targeted youth from different universities with interests in urban issues, ethnography, mapping, and policy making. The workshop consisted of a combination of field-work and studio trainings as a socio-spatial investigation of a specific area that can shed light on a phenomena that has become common around the city. The workshop had three training sessions with the participants: during the first, we conducted research on the area, partly through tenant’s stories to locate demolished lots and understand the area’s history. In the second, the participants presented their field work and research findings to the group and discussions were held around them as they conducted more field visits to map evictions and each building’s condition. In the final session, we analyzed all the material, created informative maps of our findings as well as put together a publication on the entire project.