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  • Creating Landscape in Water-Scarce Enviroments 9 » CSBE
    communities Her research interests include habitat restoration and re vegetation analysis of arid land plant communities and identification and management of endangered plant species Her design work is predominantly residential in scale with an emphasis on xeriscaping native plants and habitats for urban wildlife 2 For additional information on the deserts of the United States see the web site http www desertusa com desert html This web site includes information on the geology plants animals and wildlife of these deserts 3 Concerning watercourses and riparian areas in Tucson see Ervin Zube Sharing Rivers Sharing Opinions Perceptions of Riparian Areas Values and Uses and Susan McGinley Wildlife in the City Conserving Natural Habitats in Tucson Both articles are included under the 1996 research reports found in the web site of the College of Agriculture at the University of Arizona at http ag arizona edu pubs general 4 For additional information on water harvesting see the water harvesting section in the Tucson Water web site 5 For additional information on the principles of xeriscape see Xeriscape Landscaping with Style in the Arizona Desert A Step by Step Guide for Planning Installing and Caring for your Landscape Tucson Arizona Department of Water Resources 2000 6 Concerning the wildlife of the Sonoran Desert see the web site http www desertusa com animal html LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 A typical view of the landscape surrounding Tucson Figure 2 A 20 year average rainfall chart for Amman and Tucson Figure 3 A creosote bush Larrea tridentata community in the Tucson area Figure 4 An example of the use of color in landscape designs Figure 5 An image from the 1950s showing an area outside Tucson where the plant community was destroyed as a result of over grazing Figure 6 An image from the year 2000

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-landscape-design/material-on-water-conserving-landscapes/creating-landscapes-in-water-scarce-environments/creating-landscape-in-water-scarce-environments-10/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Creating Landscapes in Water-Scarce Environments 4 » CSBE
    to significantly grow back Figure 6 shows the same area in the year 2000 Livingston stated that when looking at the high density of grasses that have been re established one might think that the area has become environmentally healthy The situation however is more complicated than first impressions might lead one to think The land had been so degraded that it needed the introduction of a new grass species which was introduced from South Africa The newly introduced species adapted exceptionally well to the environment in which it was introduced and continued to spread into other plant communities such as the Arizona Upland Unfortunately it was not intended for these areas Fires are associated with semi desert grasslands in part due to high amounts of fuel provided by extensive grass cover whereas the Arizona Uplands are not adapted to fire Therefore the spread of fires into these other communities has resulted in considerable harm thus threatening to extensively change the area s ecosystem Agriculture also used to be a very important activity in areas surrounding Tucson but now is being greatly reduced as the economy is becoming more service oriented and urban areas are expanding This has resulted in large areas of abandoned farmland leading to loss of vegetation and soil and extensive dust storms that affect nearby urban centers Consequently specialists have started to educate the public about the threats caused by bare lands and have been working on re vegetating and rehabilitating those lands especially in areas where water for irrigation is still available Obviously land use patterns in and around Tucson have changed dramatically Urban development is spreading rapidly and is emerging as a main threat to the landscape Considering the extremely rapid growth of Tucson it is incredibly difficult to develop a current comprehensive plan

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-landscape-design/material-on-water-conserving-landscapes/creating-landscapes-in-water-scarce-environments/creating-landscapes-in-water-scarce-environments-4/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 2 » CSBE
    twentieth centuries when Beirut emerged as a colonial outpost Between these two periods Beirut was a secondary coastal town surpassed in importance by other Lebanese coastal towns such as Sidon and Tripoli both of which had strong economic ties with the Syrian interior However with the opening of Beirut Damascus road and the upgrading of Beirut s port facilities during the second half of the nineteenth century Beirut started its ascent as a late Ottoman colonial gateway city Furthermore it evolved between the two World Wars into a showcase of the French Mandate in the Levant Consequently Beirut underwent two successive phases of early modernization The first phase under the Ottomans can be described as an example of secondhand modernization since Western urban concepts were first imported to Istanbul and then applied to provincial cities like Beirut figure 1 The second phase can be described as an example of first hand modernization since the French mandatory authorities directly implemented French urban models in the city The first and second phases of Beirut s early modernization led successively to the destruction of the northeastern and southeastern sections of the pre modern intramural town Moreover the French mandatory authorities managed in less than three decades to impose a Beaux Arts Haussmanian scheme on the city s medieval fabric figure 2 Such a pattern of early modernization contrasts with French colonial planning policies in North Africa and in other cities in the Levant where the European city usually was built adjacent to the medieval one In the case of Beirut the colonial geometric grid was superimposed on the more organic medieval fabric Consequently when tourists visiting Lebanon wish to view a medieval Islamic city they do not visit Beirut but are directed to Tripoli or Sidon where one can observe both the medieval core and its modern extensions Accordingly the urban identity of Beirut after the 1930s was restricted to the developments of the colonial period and to an evolving modern townscape A Tradition of Destructive Construction With the beginning of the Lebanese civil war in 1975 Beirut already was a predominantly modern city that had preserved very few traces of its medieval past As such the Hariri Solidere project constitutes the second wave of modernization to affect Beirut after the first wave of modernization that took place under the Ottomans and the French The two waves are tied to strong rulers The first wave was tied at a certain stage of its evolution to an Ottoman Sultan Abd al Hamid II r 1876 1909 who had a traditional power base and the second wave is connected to Prime Minister Rafiq al Hariri a self made entrepreneur with considerable financial power The first wave of modernization had raised controversy related to destroying the city s medieval fabric and the second wave has raised controversy related to destroying the city s late Ottoman and early modern fabric In this context Saliba referred to the writings of the French journalist Francoise Sueret who addressed in

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/deconstructing-beirut-s-reconstruction-1990-200/page-11/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 3 » CSBE
    the opponents of the reconstruction of Beirut s Central District who mainly consist of architects entrepreneurs sociologists and politicians Each group has tailored the notion of collective memory to fit with its own needs and arguments However nobody has bothered to ask the people themselves how they actually remembered the city In this context Saliba presented an exercise he carried out with his students in 1990 while teaching at the American University of Beirut AUB This was at the end of the civil war just before the center of the city became fully accessible to the public The exercise consisted of interviews with about eighty persons who were asked to draw mental maps of the city This group of respondents was divided into different age groups so as to see how each of the groups remembered the city and how it viewed its reconstruction Collective Memory Interestingly enough the youngest of these age groups who were the AUB students carrying out the exercise viewed the city center as a tabula rasa Since these students were all under the age of 25 they had neither a clear recollection nor a direct experience of the city from before the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in 1975 The media and the accounts of their parents mainly shaped their image of the city Their mental maps of the city center emerged as an empty space with two markers the Place des Martyrs and al Masarif Street Banks Street figure 3 The first was drawn as a circle despite being rectangular in shape while the second figured more realistically on the maps since it existed on the western edge of the Beirut Central District and was partially preserved from destruction during the war When asked about their opinion on how to approach the reconstruction of the central district this group preferred that the center be reconstructed anew disregarding what it looked like before the war The situation was different for the group between 25 and 45 years of age who provided more elaborate mental maps of the city figure 4 Many of the younger members of this group who were between 25 and 35 years of age already had established their businesses outside the city center and feared the competition that would arise from the reconstructed city center On the other hand the older members of this group who were between 36 and 45 years of age expressed a yearning to preserve the pre war image of the city center Saliba referred to this group to which he belonged at that time as the romantics They greatly interacted with the city center in the 1960s and 1970s and the city center formed an integral part of their mindscape The group above 45 years of age presented the most elaborate mental maps in relation to the other age groups figure 5 However they favored the reconstruction of a new city center since they believed it would create work opportunities for their children Interestingly enough their

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/deconstructing-beirut-s-reconstruction-1990-200/page-12/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 4 » CSBE
    buildings When dealing with the preservation of an urban fabric one needs to address three dialectical relationships The first is that of above versus below where the main issue is urban archaeology versus underground parking The second is that of inside versus outside where the main issue is historic public frontages versus modernized interiors The third is that of the existing versus the potential where the main issue is the existing development versus vertical or horizontal extension of construction In the area of the Solidere project religious buildings were mostly preserved from both the inside and outside The exteriors of public buildings such as the parliament and municipality buildings were kept and the interiors were partially modernized However the Grand Serail a late Ottoman structure was vertically extended through the addition of a new floor Also the inside was completely rebuilt according to modern standards thus reducing the original building to a mere envelope in which new elements are placed Although the new modifications are both imposing and well executed a number of the elements added to the main elevation such as the dormers on the red tile roof jeopardized the original character of the building especially for those who had memories of the Grand Serail from before the war Preservation from outside and modernization from within was applied to the majority of office buildings in the conservation area This usually included the integration of elevators and other modern necessities and the adoption of flexible open plans figure 8 Outside the central district area another recent example where a similar strategy was applied is College Hall at the American University of Beirut This prominent campus building was completely reconstituted from the outside and rebuilt from within incorporating the latest modern necessities Another category that Saliba addressed is that of infill buildings where one is presented with two solutions The first is to create a neo historical structure that emulates surrounding buildings and the second is to develop a contemporary design that adapts to the scale of the surrounding context but not necessarily to its architectural character Saliba noted that both solutions have been adopted in the Solidere project An example of the first approach is found in the Saifi area where one is presented with neo traditional infill architecture figure 9 Saliba qualifies these buildings as pastiche architecture where one often comes across contradictions between plans and elevations Here the designers wished to maintain the symmetrical central hall elevation characteristic of the traditional Beiruti house which did not correspond to the building s modern plan and therefore residual spaces resulted from this arrangement An example of the second approach is found at the intersection of Weygand and Allenby streets where an infill corner building continues the arcade alignment of one of the streets but exhibits a glass wall along the other street Concerning the duality between above and below Saliba cited the example of the Suq Tawilah area figure 10 Here parking areas were needed for the modern shopping mall

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/deconstructing-beirut-s-reconstruction-1990-200/page-13/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 5 » CSBE
    1977 and 1991 master plans The first was articulated shortly after the start of the war when physical destruction was still limited Therefore it adopted an approach based on the preservation of the urban fabric through small and medium scale development by the original owners but also allowed for the participation of real estate companies in heavily damaged areas The 1991 plan was more intrusive and was to be implemented by a single development corporation This proposal was faced with harsh opposition In fact Solidere had the wisdom to take into consideration such opposition when it embarked on its reconstruction program Consequently it made amendments to the 1991 plan and also invited a number of those who opposed that plan to participate in the amendment process 10 One audience member asked Saliba to elaborate on his comparison between the Beirut of the Ottoman Sultan Abd al Hamid and that of al Hariri and on the controversy that accompanied the changes to the city that each of them initiated Saliba responded by stating that if one examines two daily newspapers from Beirut Lisan al Hal in the late ninteenth and early twentieth centuries and al Nahar in the 1990s one would come across a similar discourse relating to the subjects of conservation modernization and even globalization In addition it is interesting to note that the option of establishing a real estate development company for Beirut s reconstruction was also raised during the time of Abd al Hamid Saliba was asked about the relationship between the physical and the socio political plans carried out for Beirut and if physical planning can play a role in either fragmenting society or building social cohesion among its members Saliba commented that one of the main criticisms made of the reconstruction of the Beirut Central District was that it would result in segregating the center from its periphery and making it an island for the rich Here it should be kept in mind that the majority of those who will be working in the city center are not corporate heads but middle and low income employees involved in service jobs Therefore Saliba stressed that he does not fully agree with the opinion that the current development of the Central Business District will result necessarily in a state of social segregation In this context Saliba cited an interesting development that is taking place in Beirut today The residents of the city are starting to penetrate the Solidere area through the sea promenade that will continue along the new waterfront Also fairs are being organized in the French Mandate Foch Allenby and Etoile conservation areas and these fairs are proving to be very popular among Beirut s inhabitants Saliba emphasized that people are more powerful than corporations and that eventually they will take over the city and its center The follow up question to Saliba s response was whether the Solidere plan for the Beirut Central District provides for adequate open spaces Here Saliba stated that this area

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/deconstructing-beirut-s-reconstruction-1990-200/page-14/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 6 » CSBE
    Academy Editions 1996 Samir Khalaf and Philip Khoury Recovering Beirut Urban Design and Post War Reconstruction New York and Leiden American Bible Society 1993 and Friedrich Ragette ed Beirut of Tomorrow Planning for Reconstruction Beirut The American University of Beirut Press 1983 3 Rafiq al Hariri held the post of Lebanon s Prime Minister from 1992 to 1998 He was re elected to the post in October 2001 4 For additional information concerning Solidere see http www solidere com This web site which belongs to Solidere provides relatively detailed information on the company s program for the reconstruction of the Beirut Central District 5 A more detailed discussion of these master plans is provided in the Questions and Answers section of this essay Also please see endnote 10 below 6 Schmid Heiko The Reconstruction of Downtown Beirut Decision Making Participants and Public Opinion unpublished paper 1997 Mr Schmid can be contacted at heiko schmid urz uni heidelberg de 7 Marwan Ghandour That Secret is your Phantasm The Traditional in Architectural Offices in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Working Papers Series vol 110 1998 8 When Solidere was established in 1994 the total value of its type A shares was assessed at 1 17 billion US Moreover 650 million US of type B shares were offered for public subscription For additional information concerning the composition of Solidere s shares see http www solidere com 9 Saliba provided a more detailed discussion of the Elyssar project and the different approaches to reconstruction being applied in Beirut in a presentation delivered to the Center for the Study of the Built Environment s architectural forum Diwan al Mimar on April 20 2000 His Diwan presentation will be documented on this site in the forthcoming e publication entitled Emerging Trends in Urbanism The Beirut Post War Experience For additional information concerning the Elyssar project see Mona Harb el Hak Urban Governance in Post War Beirut Resources Negotiations and Contestations in the Elyssar Project in S Shami ed Capital Cities Ethnographies of Urban Governance in the Middle East Toronto University of Toronto Press forthcoming 10 Saliba provided a more detailed discussion of the different master plans that had been devised for Beirut in the presentation he delivered to the Center for the Study of the Built Environment s architectural forum Diwan al Mimar on April 20 2000 Concerning the forthcoming documentation of this presentation see note 9 above 11 For additional information concerning the city as a mosaic of patterns see Christopher Alexander et al A Pattern Language New York and Oxford Oxford University Press 1977 In this publication Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure at the University of California at Berkeley discuss the city as a pattern of a mosaic of subcultures The book states that the homogeneous and undifferentiated character of modern cities kills all variety of life styles and arrests the growth of individual character and suggests enriching cultural life in the city by breaking it into a vast mosaic

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/deconstructing-beirut-s-reconstruction-1990-200/page-15/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Page 6 » CSBE
    publications include E Topia Urban Life Jim But Not As We Know It MIT Press 1999 High Technology and Low Income Communities with Donald A Schon and Bish Sanyal MIT Press 1999 City of Bits Space Place and the Infobahn MIT Press 1995 The Reconfigured Eye Visual Truth in the Post Photographic Era MIT Press 1992 Digital Design Media A Handbook for Architects and Design Professionals with Malcolm McCullough Van Nostrand Reinhold 1991 The Electronic Design Studio Architectural Knowledge and Media in the Computer Era edited with Malcolm McCullogh and Patrick Purcell MIT Press 1990 The Logic of Architecture Design Computation and Cognition MIT Press 1990 The Poetics of Gardens with Charles W Moore and William Turnbull Jr MIT Press 1988 Computer Aided Architectural Design Van Nostrand Reinhold 1977 Before coming to MIT he was the G Ware and Edythe M Travelstead Professor of Architecture and Director of the Master in Design Studies Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design He previously served as Head of the Architecture Urban Design Program at UCLA s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning and he has also taught at Yale Carnegie Mellon and Cambridge Universities In the spring semester of 1999 he was visiting the University of Virginia as Thomas Jefferson Professor He studied at the University of Melbourne Yale University and Cambridge He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Melbourne and the New Jersey Institute of Technology In 1997 he was awarded the annual Appreciation Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan for his achievements in the development of architectural design theory in the information age as well as worldwide promotion of CAD education List of

    Original URL path: http://www.csbe.org/publications-and-resources/articles-and-lectures-on-urbanism/e-topia-the-future-of-cities-in-the-digital-age/page-22/ (2016-02-13)
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