Preemptive Revamping of Beirut's Public Park

A public space is a social space such as a town square that is open and accessible to all, regardless of genderraceethnicityage or socio-economic level. One of the earliest examples of public spaces are commons. For example, no fees or paid tickets are required for entry, nor are the entrants discriminated based on background.

Beirut's public park, Horsh Snawbar ( The Pine Forest in Arabic), is a  300,000 square meters green space that has been closed indeterminably by the Beirut Municipality. 
Reason? fear of vandalism, immoral conduct, love making and sectarian tension among users.... Foreigners, on the other hand, are allowed in by showing their passport at the door. So are upper class lebanese and friends of the Mayor. Obviously, they are deemed incapable of such behaviors. If one do not fit in such categories and still insist on visiting the park, he/she need to apply for a "special permit".
This gentrified and elitist appropriation of the Horsh is a growing trend which is reclaiming Beirut's carefully preserved gardens, making urban nature a luxury for the few rather than a public amenity.
Vandalism is a challenge faced by all park managements, and many lessons can be learned from world cities on how to deal with it. Beirut Municipality simply chose to close the park. It seems insulting to me to presume most Beirutis "uncivilized" to use a public amenity without , say, stealing flowers and plants from it,  making out in the bushes or devising vendettas; especially when we see the Beirutis' good use of their public gardens like this Sanayeh scene.

Nonetheless, I tried to follow the Municipality's segregative rationale in this LA Times article, to which i responded with measures that nonetheless allow to make the park public. 
So for officials, here are some preemptive measures to revamp the Park for uncivilized masses:
Durable Palette:
Trees instead of Plants.  people wont be able to rip them off
Green lawns instead of flower beds. less maintenance and less restriction for movement
BAN 'moveable' plants and shrubs from landscape palette. 
Solid Urban Furniture:
Surround trees with bench-fences.
Design fixed, concrete benches, and durable floor finishings. 
Solid Gym Platforms
Solid Sculptures/Urban Art
Control and Programming:
Control the park with pervasive cameras units, planted high in the trees. 
Fine high all infringements activities at the exits of park. 
Program the space with round-the-clock public free activities.
Link park security to municipal police patrols.


also, if the Municipality would be interested to invest on the long term:  
Educate citizens.
more links on this issue:  At the Edge of the CityBeirut's Public Space

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