Problematic: How to deal with the conflictbetween 1. The public right to access the maritime public domain, and 2. Preservethe marine environmental quality and wellbeing facing the necessity of thetouristic development and the lands owners’ rights protected by the Lebanese law(SDU). A.
Project Overview 1. Location of the study zone and its limitsThe study area will focus on the coastal part of Old Saida road based on the “Khaldeh Node” as the northern boundary and the Damour River as the southern natural boundary taking into consideration its northern and southern extensions. The choice of this region was based primarily on the geographical proximity to the sea which is a major parameter in the project, and secondly on the starting point of the highway which modified the course of development of the maritime route which, at a certain moment undergoes a break leaving the highway to take the continuity of the coast.
2. Project description The old Saida road was the only physical connection between the capitalBeirut, and the southern capital Saida and a main artery for commercialactivities for a long time before the establishment of the South Highway, whichsince then has attracted all developments, infrastructure, services andtraffic, making the present known as “The Old Sidon Road” abackyard of the highway and a lost potential that remains untiltoday, an open scene for urban neglect. The objective of this project is to achieve a coherent urban vision that maximizes any intended potential of this coastal road, offering the sea its right to exist and giving the maritime road its real value and its initial urban role as a pleasant place to experience the public’s right to access the sea (physical or visual access), and maintain a healthy environment on the long term through a sustainable approach that integrates on one hand, an investment in all existing “lost potentials” and on the other hand, alternatives for the use of existing roads, empty lots, landscape, transportation, services, functions and infrastructure. 3. Site Analysis / Screening a. Identifying the environmental opportunities: – Adjacency to the sea – Proximity to dense areas and neighborhoods (Aramoun, bchamoun, chouaifat, Damour, etc…)- Proximity to an important urban node “mouthallas khaldeh” that gives high accessibility to the site. – Recreational, cultural, residential and touristic facilities that brings life to the region. b.
Identifying the environmental stresses: – Excessive water pollution (most dangerously in the surrounding of Costa Brava region) – High air pollution (knowing that the site is adjacent to the highway), high emission of co2. – Waste lands and brownfields – Lack of access to the sea – Constructions on the sea side and very close distanced to the water. – Broken marine ecosystem due to the artificial interventions (constructions, agriculture, industries, trashes, etc…).- Lack of pedestrian and cycling facilities. – Car dependency and Lack of alternative transportation methods.
4. Project goals on the environmental level As a Reminder: The coast in the law of the environment (law 444/2002)”Protection of the coastline and the marine environment”- The marine environment must be protected from pollution in order to preserve the coastlines, its natural resources and its ports, as well as the territorial waters (art.29)- Any deposit, immersion or incineration of polluting substances in territorial waters is prohibited. (S.30) a. Focusing on the sea as a main power and factor gathering all the elements of the coastal area.
b. Focusing on environmental strategies that can be applied in the degraded natural site helping what’s left from the clean sea water and cleaning what’s already polluted. c. Regaining the right of occupying the maritime public domain by the public, through spaces designed to enhance the quality of environment and wellbeing d.
Working on sustainable long-term plans capable of using renewable energy and be a productive factor in the life of the coastal area. e. Focusing on gathering natural elements (water and trees) in the site to create a healthy micro-climate and decrease the urban heat island as much as possible. B. Principles for sustainable urban coastal Development “This special issue of Sustainability is devoted to a very importantsustainability topic, viz. cities and waterfront infrastructure. The presenceof—and access to—water has been a critical factor in the long history ofsettlement patterns of humankind. Water is not only a necessary consumptiongood for survival, but has also an important production potential in aneconomic sense.
” Girard L. (2014) “The Conference on The International Center Cities onWater found” (2000) declared the basic principles for sustainable urban coastaldevelopment: a. Theprotection of the quality of water and environment as aprecondition for all coastal developments and governments taking theresponsibility in this regard.
b. Consideringthe coastal areas as an integral part of the city and designingthem by developing functions which will contribute to the city’s vitality suchas transportation, entertainment and culture.c. Giving priority to havingaccess to the commercial and mixed uses such as culture, trade and housingto water.d. Making thepublic access to coastal areas a prerequisitee.
Planning thenew coastal development in public-private partnerships, inclusionof private investors in the planning process from the beginning to providemarket information and accelerate development, public administrations ensuringthe quality of design and infrastructure and protecting the public balancef. Involvementof professionals from different disciplines in the redevelopment ofcoastal areas and the establishment of a network to ensure the exchange ofinformation in the planning process C. Sustainable coastal development proposed strategies 1. Using the seaas a resource The site is adjacent to the sea that produces powerful and predictable waves; and so it is nosurprise that many machines – Wave Energy Converters – have been designed toconvert the energy of waves into clean, carbon-neutral electricity.
2. Strategy of GreeningDiscourse This strategy of Green Infrastructure aims to maximize the amountof green areas in this area and preserving the existing ones remaining in the regionthrough:a. Using the empty spaces inbuildings lots, and the leftover parcels of the lots as a green space. b. Working to integrate thegreen building laws as a pre-requisite essential criteria in the coastal regionand introduce some benefits for the appliers.
c. Creating a linear park followingthe path of the road, parallel to the sea, to maximize the naturalinterventions along the road and make it a healthy place to enjoy the sea. 3. Strategy ofAlternative Transportation methodsThis strategy aims to minimizing the flow of automobiles (cars) useddaily from the south to Beirut by establishing an easy alternativetransportation method as a BRT, accompanied by park and ride facilities whenits needed (mainly in Saida, Saadiyat, Damour, Khaldeh). a. Creating a cycling and pedestrian only network along the coast. b. Creating a Green network connectingthe main attraction spots.
c. Planning for an electricalBus network starting from khaldeh along the coastal road arriving to Saida.d. Limiting the car access roadsinto a larger grid inside the area minimizing the distance of the Car path from2 lanes to 1 lane only in secondary roads. 4.
Strategy ofParticipatory Discourse-Community ActivismKnowing that the social factor is a main pillar in a successfulsustainable city model, this strategy is based on the major role of localCommunities engagement in the City life in order to provide maintain and plan acohesive social network between all the stakeholders which has been distractedduring the civil war and later on, through many other urban and economiccrisis. This approach tackles all people living in the region and build a solidplatform for the future generations taking into consideration all the needs andcity life facilities exclusively for each region. Knowing that each city, hasspecific spirit, culture, lifestyle and needs.5.
Strategy of alternative andrenewable energy resources Thisstrategy aims to encourage and maximize the use of renewable energy resourcesin the region, benefiting from the existing resources. Proposedfew of many guidelines for the strategy as follow: a. The use of the sea as source ofwave energy b.
The use of trash(waste) as sourceof gas energy (knowing that the site is near the Costa Brava) c. The use of Sun as source of daylight and energy storage through solar panels d. The Smart Facades in the buildingsminimizing the use of the electricity. e. The collection of the rainwater duringwinter for the usage of the residents of the region.f. The use of recyclable materials inshops (bags, products…) g. Encouraging the handmade and craftsmen economyregeneration.
h. Using porous pavements and eco-friendlymaterials in construction and roads to minimize the heat absorption.i. Offering benefits for the renewableenergy appliers, and penalties for those who don’t. D. Conclusion The chosen site is presently passing through several environmental, social and economic crisis and most importantly is losing its relation with the sea, and cannot overcome these threats without a sustainable strategy which integrates a balanced resources management through a participation from all the stakeholders and it must tackle all the main factors of sustainability: the PPP golden rule (planet, people, profit) to deal with the applied stresses and benefit efficiently from the available resources and opportunities on a long term plan.