Lessons in Post-War Reconstruction: Case Studies from Lebanon in the Aftermath of the 2006 War
Howayda Al-Harithy - 2010
Lessons in Post-War Reconstruction displays reconstruction efforts from the ground up and shows that informed and politically conscious socially active architects are able to get involved in positive ways with the public and to arouse public passion and discourse around issues of rebuilding.
After the ceasefire, a group of architects and planners from the American University of Beirut formed the Reconstruction Unit to help in the recovery process and in rebuilding the lives of those affected by the 2006 war in Lebanon. They were interested in processes that would be more grassroots based; that would involve participatory procedures; and that would bring to the table issues like identity, memory, and heritage; aspects that are often forgotten in the haste of urgently needed reconstruction. Here, a series of case studies documenting the work of the Unit discusses the lessons to be learned from the experiences of Lebanon after the July War, and suggests how those lessons might be applied elsewhere. The cases are diverse in terms of scale, type of intervention, methods, and approaches to the situation on the ground. Critical issues such as community participation, heritage protection, damage assessment and compensation policies, the role of the state, and capacity building are explored and the success and failures assessed. This book features the work of local academics and professionals who were directly involved in the reconstruction process. The selected case studies include: Haret Hreik, Bent Jbeil, Aita Al-Cha’eb.