Towards a Participatory Practice in Organizing the Lebanese Territories: The Zahrani Coast as a Model

From May 2015 to December 2016

In Lebanon, the national vision for economic development has always been closely tied to the construction sector. However, the emphasis on land as a source of profit has resulted in the destruction of livelihoods and people’s relationship with their surroundings. This trend is reflected in land zoning that is still being drawn up without involving the people affected by them. As a result, planning remains a tool of the powerful, neglecting important issues and excluding broad social groups. In this project, we investigated the repercussions of this context at the local level, specifically in the Zahrani coast region in the south.

Read the full Article in Arabic here.


Abir Saksouk

Co-Director and Head of Research Department

Abir graduated as an architect in 2005, and later did her masters in Urban Development Planning. She is the co-founder of Public Works Studio. Her primary focus includes urbanism and law, property and shared space, and the right to the city of marginalized communities. She is active in exploring how local organizing could be employed in actively shaping the future of cities. Abir is also a member of the Legal Agenda and a co-founder of Dictaphone Group. 


Tala Alaeddine

Research Unit Coordinator and Researcher

Tala graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Lebanese University, Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts Branch II (2017), and received Academic excellence certificates and Scholarships from The Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development and the Lebanese American University. Her work focuses on land and housing issues in Lebanon, and includes studying and analyzing Lebanese regional masterplans, monitoring planning institutions practices, and advocating for participatory approaches in planning and reconstruction.

Monica Basbous

Safia Shamas


Nadine Bekdache

Co-director and Head of Communication and Design Unit

Nadine is a practicing designer and urbanist, and co-founder of Public Works Studio. She researches socio-spatial phenomena through multidisciplinary methods; including mapping, imagery and film as both processes of investigation and representation. As part of her research on urban displacement, she authored “Evicting Sovereignty: Lebanon’s Housing Tenants from Citizens to Obstacles”, and co-directed “Beyhum Street: Mapping Place Narratives”. Nadine is also a graphic design instructor at the Lebanese University.

Land Management and Planning Lebanon Saida District South Lebanon Governorate Zahrani