Native Urban Forests in Beirut

From May 24th to 29th theOtherDada partnered with the social enterprise, Afforestt, to plant over 1,200 trees from 16 different native species in Beirut, as part of an Urban Afforestation Workshop. Through utilizing the innovative Miyawaki Technique the forests created will be 100% more biodiverse, 30 times denser, growing 10 times faster and absorbing noise and pollution 30 times more efficiently, than conventional man-made forests.

The first site sits on the bank of Beirut River, where fifteen passionate participants revived a 200 square meter area with the support of the Sin el Fil Municipality. The area was chosen specifically for its location next to the river, which since its enclosure in concrete in 1968 has been cut off from the local community and become a heavily polluted dumping ground. The urban forest will clean the air, radically reduce flooding, desalinate groundwater, reintroduce nature and become self-sufficient within three years.

The Urban Afforestation Workshop is part of theOtherDada’s Beirut RiverLESS project, a series of initiatives to address the deterioration of the Beirut River and its negative impact on the surrounding communities and environment.

theOtherDada and Afforestt joined SUGi, an application that provides a network for funding rewilding efforts and urban forests, launched in tandem with the workshop; as well as Advanced Car Rental and their Carbon Free Journey, as partners in the project.

After the success of the Sin el Fil site, the team also planted a second 100 square meter forest in a cemetery near Horsh Beirut on the eve of Eid al-Fitr.

Beirut’s environmental degradation has left communities detached from nature and surrounded by pollution. The workshop is one aspect of theOtherDada’s work in architecture, research and consultancy to provide an alternative approach to sustainability through invoking new relationships between climate, landscape, and inhabitants.

To read more about our native urban forests, check out the following articles and interviews:

Crowdfunding Video on SUGi project:  https://www.facebook.com/sugiproject/videos/2202707396505973/ 

Al Monitor – May 28 2019: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/05/beiruts-urban-forest-saving-its-river.html

Live interview on MTV – June 10 2019: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=639654909871266

L’Orient Le Jour – August 07 2019: https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1181947/une-foret-urbaine-pres-du-fleuve-de-beyrouth.html

Adib Dada presents Beirut RiverLESS at Pecha Kucha sustainable waterways, Cleveland, USA: https://www.cleveland.com/arts/2019/06/pechakucha-presenters-rocked-nautica-at-cuyahoga-50-waterways-event.html

Bespoke Magazine – June/July 2019:

BESPOKE issue 75 - theOtherDada Beirut River Urban Forest

About theOtherDada

At tOD, we are architects with a purpose and strategists with a mission. Going beyond traditional architecture, we employ a holistic and biomimetic design approach with NATURE and PEOPLE at its core. It is architecture that is socially and environmentally engaged.

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