The Mar Mikhael Square Project

What’s going on in Mar Mikhael? In March 2023, a public space intervention began at the intersection of Gouraud, Pasteur, and Armenia streets. In this video, we discuss the project with residents and experts.
The project consists of a small square with the expansion of sidewalks, an initiative by the Beirut Urban Lab at the American University of Beirut, and designed by the late urban designer Habib Debs in collaboration with Francis Landscapes. The square is part of the Plan de Déplacements Doux, the Plan Vert of Beirut, and the reimagined Fouad Boutros highway – or the Green Path. One of the entrances to the Green Path is through the historic staircases of Rmeil, including the Gholam staircase which was renovated and redesigned after the August 4 explosion. The square we are introducing is an extension of the Gholam staircase and executes the soft mobility plan with priority for pedestrians. 
Urban design: Habib Debs with support from Jad Tabet
Landscape: Francis Landscapes
Traffic: Rami Semaan
Drainage: Pierre Damous
Videography: Moussa Shabandar
The Beirut Urban Lab Team

We are introducing a people-centered urban design intervention at the entrance of the Mar Mikhael artery to improve pedestrian and social spaces. This urban design intervention expands the landing of the Gholam Stairs at the intersection of Pasteur and Armenia streets into a public square. The square spills over the vehicular artery to calm traffic, without disrupting vehicular movements, while it considerably improves walkability. The intervention includes greening, urban furniture, street lighting, and improved drainage systems -- all of which enhance the quality of life in the city. Since the project has been the subject of a lot of disinformation over the past weeks, we note that it has evidently designed by some of the best talents in Lebanon, discussed at length and approved by the Municipal Council, the Municipality of Beirut, and many local actors before it entered the execution phase in March 2023. Prior to the interruption, the project was due to finish in July 2023.

Watch the video here.