Beirut is today a segregated and overcrowded city, with almost no public spaces. Horsh Beirut is the largest park in the capital. It is located at the intersection of socially segregated neighborhoods. To its west side lies Sunni Tarik el-Jdideh; to its north, Christian Badaro and Mathaf ; and to its south, Shiite Chiyah. Sabra and Shatila refugee camps are a few minutes away.During the civil war, Horsh Beirut was part of the demarcation line that divided Beirut into two conflicting zones. In 1982, most of its trees were burnt down by Israeli airstrikes.Read More
Ever since, it has functioned as a buffer zone between different neighborhoods instead of a link between the people of Beirut. After the war and its subsequent restoration, it remained closed to the public.Meanwhile, Horsh Beirut’s surface area is forever decreasing. The initial area of Horsh Beirut was 1,200,000 sqm, this has now decreased to only 300,000 sqm and continues to be in danger of further diminishment. The ongoing decline is due to the ineffective management of green spaces throughout the capital. Much of the original area of Horsh Beirut has been illegally occupied, constructed upon, or been made inaccessible to the public. “Horsh Beirut for All” campaign aims at protecting and re-establishing Horsh Beirut as a public space for all and a venue for fostering social interaction.Read Less
01. Raise awareness on the importance of public spaces
02. Reopen Horsh Beirut park to the public
03. Reclaim public access to Horsh Beirut’s entire area
2010: Initial campaign team forms.
2011: Campaign public activities start.
2012: Beirut mayor publicly promises to reopen Horsh Beirut for the first time.
2013: Beirut municipal council issues a decision to start the tendering process for the maintenance of Horsh Beirut.
2015: Municipality advertises plan to build a municipal stadium in Horsh Beirut
September 2015: Horsh Beirut reopens to the public every Saturday June
2016: Horsh Beirut reopens daily
June 2016: Municipality of Beirut starts building a hospital in Horsh Beirut
March 2017: Municipality of Beirut closes Horsh Beirut temporarily to treat infected trees
May 2017: Council of Ministers changes the zoning of part of Horsh of Beirut from non-aedificandi to constructible. [link to our public statement + media article]
July 2017: Horsh Beirut reopens to the public