Source: Association for the Protection of Lebanese Heritage

Activists have sent me these sketches comparing their proposal for a park with the municipality/CDR plan for a road that would slice through Ashrafieh, one of Beirut’s oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods.

The municipality says it is set on the decision and has already chosen a contractor. But activists plan to put up stiff resistance to the four-lane road, arguing that it will negatively impact both residents and commuters, in addition to wrecking the character of the neighborhood, its few remaining green spaces and architectural heritage.

Look for my piece in The Daily Star this week, weighing the arguments for and against, including some interesting revelations from both decision-makers and people on the ground.

UPDATE: The city has rejected any plans for the proposed park above. Read interviews with officials in my piece for The Daily Star

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Habib Battah
Habib Battah is an investigative journalist and founder of the news site beirutreport.com. Battah has covered Lebanon and the Middle East for over 15 years and teaches journalism and media studies at the American University of Beirut. He is a contributor to Monocle, The Guardian, BBC World, Al Jazeera and others, a former fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University and two-time recipient of the Samir Kassir Press Freedom Award. Battah's investigative work was recently recognized for outstanding local reporting by the Columbia University Oakes Award for Environmental Reporting. Battah earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Near East Studies and Journalism from New York University.

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