Seminar on Urban Planning and land policies in Lebanon

Held in June July 2000

The seminar was jointly organized by the author and by Eric Huybrechts, then director of the CERMOC (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain), in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works, the General Directorate of Urban Planning and the Order of Engineers.

The proceedings of the seminar present a comprehensive picture of the multiple facets of the facts and practices of urban planning and land development in Lebanon.

The seminar gathered the practitioners of planning in the administration and in the private sector, the local authorities, the sectoral administrations and a number of European experts.

It had a determining influence on the decision of the Lebanese Government to launch the studies of the “National Physical master Plan for Lebanon”, few months later.

table of access to the documents : in french – in arabic.

Final synthetic report of the National Physical Master Plan for Lebanon (SDATL)

Main report of the study commissioned by the CDR (Council for Development and Reconstruction) from a consortium including IAURIF, Dar Al Handasah and a group of Lebanese experts including the author who was in charge of the coordination of public policies and of the economy.

relief du Liban

During its preparation, this report was at the centre of a wide debate and the European Union allocated a budget for its diffusion. It has been mentioned in the programs of two Cabinets but has not yet been formally approved.

The report can be accessed on the official site of the CDR


Table of contents

Introduction: Basics of the land use master plan

1. Uncontested physical features

2. Challenges of the future

3. Basic choices

4. The perspectives of the national physical master plan

5. Principles of land use

6. The first implementation phase of the NPMPLT

Acknowledgements and Project team

The final synthesis report of the National Physical Master Plan for Lebanon relies on a large number of sectoral reports some of which have been written by the author and are available on the site:

  1. Macroeconomic framework (in French): presentation of the major equilibria of the Lebanese economy, its weaknesses and potentials from a regional and long term perspective.
  2. Reconstruction in Lebanon (in French): assessment of the policies of post-war reconstruction and determination of the responsibilities and potential roles of public intervention.
  3. Balanced development and the role of Beirut (in French): analysis of the socio-economic structure in Lebanon in spatial terms and in a regional perspective leading to the revision of the notion (that became constitutional) of “balanced development”.
  4. Actors and procedures of urban development in Lebanon (in French): presentation and analysis of the institutional and regulatory framework of urban development in Lebanon, its real practice as well as of their economic and spatial effects and stakes.

At the request of the CDR, a document was annexed to the synthesis report in order to reassess the practice of public investment programming in the light of the NPMPL.

This document is entitled: Plan Programme (in French)

 Link : on the official site of the Conuncil for Development and Reconstruction (CDR)


published 1 July 2007

Reconstruction of the Beirut Central District (1984-1986)


Synthesis document produced in the frame of the firm Oger-Liban in the beginning of 1986 on the reconstruction of Beirut Central District and kept confidential until now.

At that time, continuing the detailed studies and the field works had become impossible because of the deterioration of the security situation and the crumbling down of the state structure.

The document was produced to summarize and to preserve the amount of work produced by several teams of urban planners, architects, engineers and economists over more than three years so as to avoid their loss and the blurring of its main orientations.

The report presents the functional programming options for the Central District in relation with the idea of “recentering and reuniting the city”, it explicitly envisages for the first time the different legal structures available for the realization of designed objective and presents a detailed quantification and programming of the first phase as well as several scenarios for the further development.

Its reading is especially relevant in the perspective of comparing its programmatic and structuring proposals with what has become “Solidere”.

In French

Stakeholder Analysis and Social Assessment for the Proposed Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development Project

November 2001

Framing document prepared in collaboration with the urban planner Ms Maha Yahya and “Information International” for the CDR and the World bank, in view of implementing a loan from the WB to promote the cultural heritage of five cities in Lebanon (Tripoli, Jbeil, Saïda, Sour and Baalbeck).

The report assesses the socioeconomic situation in the concerned cities as well as their assets in terms of cultural tourism and related activities, giving special attention to the distribution of interests at stake and to the consequences of the different possible forms of intervention.

The document became the reference for the later stages of the project that is presently being implemented.

  1. Index (277 Ko)
  2. Executive Summary (195 Ko)
  3. Conceptual methodology (151 Ko)
  4. Tripoli (2.2 Mo)
  5. Sour (Tyre) (1.5 Mo)
  6. Baalbek (1.4 Mo)
  7. Jbeil (Byblos) (1.6 Mo)
  8. Saïda (Sidon) (1.8 Mo)
  9. Appendices (200 Ko)
published 3 November 2007

Programming and Assessment of the economic impact of the Cultural heritage Project in Jbeil-Byblos

April 2002

  1. Programming of intervention (140 Ko – in english)
  2. Economic impact assessment (100 Ko – in english)

Report written during the second phase of the Cultural Heritage Project, in association with AAA (Atelier d’Architectes Associés) for the CDR and the World Bank.

It includes the programming of the operation (that is presently being implemented) and the evaluation of its impact on the local community and economy.


published 3 November 2007