Territory Fragmentation, Cultural Loss, Urban Core, Livability


Architecture | Business | Engineering | Life Sciences


"This paper focuses on tools and actions of urban planning that help the creation, enhancement, transformation or revitalization of cultural identity and historical meaning of central public spaces that suffer from urban disruption or fragmentation. This work uses the case study of a well-known district, Zokak el Blat, in Beirut, Lebanon, which has undergone noticeable changes in terms of morphology of the urban fabric as well as disparities in functionality. According to these facts, this district has a high potential for defining a strong central dynamic zone, where local character is reinforced, which creates a sort of fragmentation and discontinuity in the territory. This fragmentation, mainly caused by the development of road network, will lead to a significant decreasing from the cultural dimension as well as the local meaning of the district. As the study focuses its main branches of urban planning and design, the methodology is supported by several tools (graphs, maps, questionnaire, and other empirical studies). First, in order to determine the evolution of current characteristics of the territory, a detailed study of the historical background should be analyzed. Later, a deeper study of urban cores and dynamics should take place in order to define what territories are most suitable for preserving cultural and historical value. These studies are completed with physical methodologies, like field study, where local agents are asked to give a detailed feedback about the development of urban dynamics that they noticed. Then, the use of empirical analysis will set up the main promoters of the fragmentation of the space. Finally, a developed proposal for the studied area will reinforce the ability of creation, enhancement and transformation or rescue of historical identity and cultural meaning of Zokak el Blat district."





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