Majdel Anjar, Lebanon

2021 - 2022

2420 m²


Partners: International Alert
Collaborators: Majdal Anjar municipality; Youth Dialogue Group
Funding: Peace and Human Rights Division at the Swiss Embassy in Beirut
We tailored a placemaking methodology as part of International Alert’s program ‘Creating Space for Peace’ in the town of Majdel Anjar in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Working with the youth in Majdel Anjar, this project began with training sessions in which participants got familiar with the project and learned about placemaking, social research, participatory design, and public space. 

The youth selected the site of intervention: an unrehabilitated section of a public park in Majdel Anjar. They conducted field observations to better understand its users and uses. In a design training session, the youth developed their design ideas. The preliminary design was ready for the youth group to present to the municipality and the community in a public design consultation. The final design was prepared based on the feedback received.

The public space design centers around a quiet seating area offering different seating options for individual or group activities. It includes tables that can be used for deskwork or for playing board games, the table is designed to accommodate wheelchair users. A steel shading structure covers a part of the amphitheater, and trees are planted to provide some shade.

An active zone was developed along the existing oval path, this includes distance markings on the floor to encourage walking or running, two children play stations which include speaking pipes and monkey bars, and playful concrete stumps. To improve accessibility to and within the public space, accessible paths were incorporated. We also added colorful mosaic tiles on the benches, the amphitheater and floor as a visually attractive link across the site.  

As part of the construction phase of this project, we trained some of the youth group on site supervision to help monitor the progress of work. Local workers were hired from the town and its surroundings. As the construction was completed, we worked with the youth to activate the public space. We concluded with a reflection on the impact of this project on youth and their wider community. 

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