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Accueil du site → Master → Liban → Between sea and city : revitalization of a Mediterranean coast - the case of Batroun.

American University of Beirut (2019)

Between sea and city : revitalization of a Mediterranean coast - the case of Batroun.

Merchak, Namitta Aref,

Titre : Between sea and city : revitalization of a Mediterranean coast - the case of Batroun.

Auteur : Merchak, Namitta Aref,

Université de soutenance  : American University of Beirut

Grade : Master MUD 2019

Batroun presents the typical urban problematic of a Mediterranean city in proximity to a world heritage site. Owing to an urban expansion that developed around the transport infrastructure, Batroun can be roughly described to have grown into four parallel spatial entities : the coastal entity delineated by the old coastal road, the old residential fabric extending to the International road, both of which are part of the old archeological site ; the mixed new dense residential fabric reaching the highway ; and the agricultural fields to the east of the highway. Each of these entities operates according to different spatial, economic and sociocultural modes, constituting settings that are weakly connected and mostly turning their back to the sea. The old town is gradually disconnected from the coast, detached from the inland developments, and abandoned by its residents. In addition, the local population is losing hold of the economy : large scale supermarket chains are opening, while local, small scale stores are closing. This disconnection triggers negative spatial, social and economic outcomes. To counter these trends, the thesis seeks to articulate an integrated urban design strategy for the city which targets specifically the city’s coast and its old market artery. The thesis builds on the hypothesis that an integrated sustainable tourism strategy that (1) capitalizes on the city’s heritage value, (2) restores the integrity and continuity of the coast, and (3) reintroduces connections between the coast and the old city –particularly its commercial streets- has the potential to pull people back towards the sea and channel recreational development while revitalizing the old town’s economy and maintaining its population in place. The thesis hypothesizes that such an intervention would also control the ongoing undirected development, which is threatening the natural and built heritage and displacing businesses and people. The thesis translates this tourism strategy into an integrated connecti


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