Of the damages of urban highways – historical overview

The creation of urban highways between the 1950’s amd 1970’s in Beirut caused extensive damage to the original fabric of the city. Hundreds of buildings were demolished in the process, neighborhoods were seperated by fast lanes of traffic difficult or impossible to cross, traditional fabrics were ripped appart.

Today, no city in the world, (except in some totalitarian regimes) thinks of destroying their historic fabrics to make way for the car. And we will never accept that such destructive action still be done in our city today. The Fouad Boutros highway will not pass.


The demolition of the traditional urban fabric in Zokak El Blat to make way for the Fouad Chehab Avenue (Photo credit : Prof. E. Wirth)

Parts of the 1964 cadastral map, showing the impact on the urban fabric caused by the construction of urban highways


Aerial photograph of Achrafieh in 1972
Showing the new Sassine Square and the Alfred Naccache avenue being cut into the existing urban fabric of Achrafieh (Photo credit : unknown-rights reserved)