Lebanon Businessnews News

Green spaces study for Beirut
Draft law to make ‘pocket gardens’ mandatory
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The Council of the Municipality of Beirut has validated a preliminary study assessing the city’s green spaces. The study was funded in full by Ile De France French region, through an estimated €300,000 investment (around $400,000).

The study was conducted for consultancy and research purposes and identified the species of plants in the green spaces around Beirut, including shrubs, flowers, and trees. Rachid El Ashkar, member of the Beirut Municipality Council, said: “This will allow us to decide what type of plants should be planted in each green space.”

The Council presented a set of recommendations regarding to maintain and fortify the types of plants in the city’s green spaces.

It encouraged planting in even the smallest green spaces in the city, calling them ‘pocket gardens’. “By planting a 20 square meter area we can provide enough fresh air for residents in neighboring buildings,” said El Ashkar. The Municipality is currently preparing a draft law making it mandatory for developers to plant pocket gardens between 15 to 20 square meters next to newly constructed buildings.

For executive steps to be taken, the council needs to assign a design office to conduct more in-depth studies. “The overall aim is to promote a green mentality within the municipality’s work and develop it further,” said El Ashkar.

The Beirut Municipality is working with the Azadea Foundation to restore the René Mouawad Park in Sanayeh by March 2014. The restoration will cost $2.25 million funded entirely by the Azadea Foundation.

Earlier this year, the Basta municipal garden was bulldozed and replaced by a construction site. The Council of the Municipality of Beirut interfered to stop the works and asked the developer to restore the garden to its previous condition.
Reported by Nader Houella
Date Posted: Sep 20, 2013
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