A HOUSING PROPOSAL AGAINST ALL ODDS: THE CASE OF SQUATTER SETTLEMENTS IN BEIRUT
HAMADEH, SHIRINE TOUFIK
Master of Architecture
The most dramatic housing manifestation of the twelve year war in Lebanon has been the squatting phenomenon, resulting from internal displacement. This issue has been blindly overbooked by the State and the private sector. Their indifference retaliated in a "silent urban revolt" to which the sprawl of the "war-displaced settlements" in the Southern-Suburb of Beirut testifies. Today, these settlements are in a deplorable condition. This thesis declares the need for an emergency housing solution. It builds on the role of political and economic constraints imposed by the urban system of the country, and on the impact of the social, cultural and economic propensities of the population involved, in determining the nature of the required intervention. By acknowledging these parameters, the study formulates a comprehensive housing policy, in essence, upgrading the existing settlements and relocating their vulnerable zones into a site and services program, thereby shifting the role of the State and private sector from "house producers" to "facilitators".