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Beirut normal

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Beirut normal


, histoire urbaine, géographie urbaine, identité, développement urbain, guerre, reconstruction, Beirut, Sarkis Hashim, Beyrouth


Abstract from the distributor :
Is there anything to say about Beirut beyond the obvious, and by now exhausted, lessons of post-war reconstruction and identity politics? What is a "Beirut normal"? Is it worth examining? The lecture puts forward these questions not in order to diminish the city's architectural output but to reveal aspects of the city that have been overwhelmed by the discourses of war and politics. Through a series of specific architectural and urban analyses, the lecture proposes that a certain urbanism could be derived out of seemingly unrelated attributes of the city such as the speculative intensities of development, Beirut's geography between countryside and Mediterranean, and its insatiable pursuit of "a worldly aesthetic."

Cities are the magnets for more than half the world's population. In such urban conditions, architects are increasingly called into debates about environmental and social sustainability, governance, and social inequality. Shaping Cities is an Urban Age public lecture series organised by LSE Cities that identifies the growing complexity of architectural practice in relation to the challenges of exponential urbanism.
Hashim Sarkis is the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.


Hashim Sarkis


25 May 2010