Yet again Beirut loses a piece of earth. Lebanon has one of the highest urban populations in the world, 88% to be specific, and more than three fourths of that number belongs to the great capital, Beirut. This is not to mention that estimates have suggested half a million Lebanese enter Beirut on a week day and leave in the evening to the suburbs or surrounding mountains. I now realize what I am saying here is that around 75% of Lebanon could be in one city during the day, and that is often the case.
There are a few facts worth mentioning here. While Lebanon has a total area of 10,452 square kilometers, Beirut is only around 100 square kilometers big. Metropolitan Beirut bounces up to 200 square kilometers, still constituting only 0.2% of the country's total land. With 75% of the nation's people practically living in it.
The result of this magnificent phenomenon is that it is impossible to gasp for air in Beirut. Where buildings don't occupy land, cars do. Where skyscrapers don't mask the sun, pollution and smog do. And on we go, building lot after lot, inside of this already over-populated city. Worse - we construct buildings without considering the infrastructure. Not electricity, not water, not streets, not public transport, not even sidewalks.
The photo above shows a lot on which construction has recently begun. The lot is a beautiful little extension to the urban void Sanayeh Park creates. A parking space, serving the infrastructure along with pleasant sidewalks along it drawing a stroll into Sanayeh. It is a breath of air, a ray of sunlight, a glimmer and hope. Well, it was. Congratulations, Beirut.
at 7:58 PM