Beirut Activists Try to “Green the Grey” of Their Concrete Urban Environment

"urban greenery environment"200 Beirut residents reminded others that cities can (and should) be green.

Fed up with the absence of greenery in Beirut, 200 residents of the city gathered this past Saturday in a decidedly concrete Sassine Square to collectively say that they wanted to “Green the Grey”.  Beirut has definitely been taking steps towards being “green” in recent years, including opening a popular local farmer’s market and paving bike lanes to encourage non-carbon emitting forms of transportation.   But some city residents believe that greenery itself needs to spread in Beirut, and that more green spaces are necessary.

Dima Boulad, one of the founders of Beirut Green Project (the sponsor of Saturday’s event), said that she helped organize the gathering “because we feel that [green spaces are] a basic right anyone should have in a city… and green public spaces are nonexistent in Beirut.”

“People are not aware how important [green spaces] are,” continued Boulad, “but they reduce pollution in the city and they reduce stress.”

In order to demonstrate the big change that a little greenery can make, the non-governmental organization Green Line temporarily covered a part of Sassine Square with sod, potted flowers, and temporary grass.  People then gathered around the greenery on blankets and enjoyed food and music.

The event took place on the day before World Environment Day, an annual event established by the United Nations in 1972.

Elsewhere in Lebanon, World Environment Day was marked by bike tours and a joint UN/Lebanese American University project titled “Think before…”

: The Daily Star

Read more about Beirut::
Samir Kassir Square Blends the Organic with the Urban in Beirut
An Insider’s Experience of Exploring Beirut by Bike
Beirut’s Souk el Tayeb Farmer’s Market Celebrates Healthy Local Food Traditions

Image via: sacks08

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