The project sought to upgrade the streets in the neighbourhood of Karantina, both around the Beirut Governmental Hospital, the National HIV and TB Centre and the Karantina Public Park. An area that bustles with cars, this project focussed on making Karantina’s streets more pedestrian and child friendly by improving the infrastructure in the neighbourhood. The design interventions for this project were underpinned by a participatory approach ensuring input from the local community around their needs, visions and aspirations for the space.
Building on this participatory phase, the design centred on four key areas: slowing the traffic; making the area inclusive and pedestrian friendly; creating play opportunities for children and enhancing existing social activities. In order to tackle the issue of traffic and make the area safer for pedestrians, the design involved adding a new roundabout, replacing the old median strip, and introducing speed bumps and road markings to regulate car parking and movement.
To increase the safety of pedestrians and make the area more accessible, the design focussed on improving the existing sidewalks, creating pedestrian crossings and building access ramps. Part of this involved creating a new sidewalk under a group of existing trees which allowed for natural shade.
On this new sidewalk, we implemented a long bench where pedestrians are able to gather and spend some time there. By adding more trees and plants to the sidewalks, roundabouts and new median in front of the hospital, the intervention aims to create more shade and greenery, giving the area the feel of an urban park. Finally, to facilitate play, the long and colourful bench along the sidewalk can be used for seating, jumping off and running along, there are also floor games along the pavement for children to interact with as they use the space.
By improving the infrastructure around the Karantina public hospital and Karantina Public Park, this intervention has made the area more accessible, comfortable, safe and enjoyable for the neighbourhood’s residents and visitors. It has encouraged social activity with its range of gathering spaces and provided entertainment for children through the playful aspects of the project. This is complemented by the traffic intervention solutions which have made the area feel a lot safer.
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