FNAU accompanies Zgharta/Ehden town in Lebanon
The municipality of Zgharta / Ehden in connection with United Cities Lebanon / Technical Office of Lebanese Cities (BTVL) asked the FNAU in the perspective of a pilot action for the creation of an urban agency in north Lebanon. In this perspective, a prefiguration seminar for this territorial agency is held from 21 to 23 June 2018 in the Caza (equivalent of a district) of Zgharta / Ehden.
The Zgharta / Ehden district is located on the heights 30 kilometers from Tripoli, the second largest city in the country and the economic heart of northern Lebanon. From the narrow, densely urbanized coastal strip, the towns of Zgharta and Ehden share the same population, which moves according to seasons. This ensemble is part of the Qadisha Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Because of its steep terrain, the valley has historically been the refuge of a variety of communities, today mostly inhabited by Maronites.
This Caza presents strong challenges for sustainable development, as well as a need to increase public service capacities such as transport or heritage enhancement, as well as the coherence of its territorial project with the proximity of Tripoli. Over the last twenty years, several initiatives have led to the emergence of promising ideas for a more coordinated territorial development, which now needs to be tooled in order to be implemented.
Within this framework, the FNAU was asked to support the emergence of an independent and sustainable tool inspired by the model of French urban planning agencies, and adapted to the specificities of Zgharta / Ehden. After a time dedicated to field visits, experts from the FNAU network conducted with the BTVL and the town two days of workshops with local development actors. This joint working time aims to build a shared strategic vision of all and to promote the mobilization of civil society. The expected result is the drafting of a roadmap, with matching implementation schedule, governance model and pilot projects, which pave the way to experimentation.