Because of the densification of Beirut and the cement boxes we are living in, public life is deteriorating more and more. Problems are arising in many aspects; psychological and sociological as well as health problems. The areas for interaction and exchange are disappearing which is alienating our society and causing these sorts of problems. For this, public spaces are a need and a right. Our need for public spaces is an essential component in our everyday lives.
We are 20 non-governmental organizations who believe that the presence of suitable public spaces is a basic right for all people. We believe that all Lebanese citizens, tourists, and people living in Lebanon should be given the chance to benefit from the public places present on all levels. Moreover, we believe that our government has a legal and ethical responsibility to set up the present public spaces in accordance to its usage by people.
Despite its convenient geography and climate, Lebanon lacks the presence of public spaces especially in Beirut and its suburbs where more than 50 % of the Lebanese citizens live. Moreover, present public spaces in Beirut are either closed to the public or are not prepared to receive people. The Largest public space present in Beirut is Horsh Beirut, of 333’000 m2. It is an urban park in Beirut city that has been closed to the public since 1992 and has a historical and symbolical importance among all Lebanese people. The Re-opening of Horsh Beirut presents a major step towards supplying public spaces in Lebanon, providing a space for people to meet and offering all the aspects of everyday needs. By providing this space, we believe that we are providing a new platform for a behavioral change in Beirut citizens towards their public life, aiming a healthier aspect. Hence, taking this step can only present a positive influence to all Lebanese people and local authorities at once.