The Civil Coalition Against the Highway Project “Hekmeh-Turk” Axis (“Fouad Boutros” Road) is a gathering of NGOs, associations and groups, also joined by a number of experts, professionals and academics from a diversity of fields related to the urban environment : urban designers/planners, architects, transportation engineers, sociologists, environment and public health experts, historians and conservation experts. Supported and joined by many concerned residents of Beirut, and within Achrafieh, Rmeil and Medawar.
When the Fouad Boutros highway project was adopted through decree No. 8228 of the 30th of May 2012, many individuals and groups started expressing an active opposition to the project and progressively gathered into a Civil Coalition, which is now fully active on the ground, in the Medias and on the legal and expertise fields. The different groups and individual members contributed to the building of a corpus of studies, proposals, texts, visual documents, to sustain and carry the opposition to the highway project. Indeed, because of the enormous efforts of so many people who contributed with their knowledge and competence, we can claim without doubt that our opposition to the project relies on solid knowledge and understanding of its impact and of possible alternatives. Our mobilization thus enjoys legitimacy and credibility and deserves to be heard and considered in all seriousness.
The Coalition expresses a complete and total refusal of the Hekmeh-Turk axis / Fouad Boutros highway project in all its aspects, devices and components and asks for its immediate cessation and final cancellation by the Municipality of Beirut and the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR).
The Coalition’s second main goal is to obtain the replacement of the highway project by the construction of the “Fouad Boutros Park”, on the lands, gardens and buildings already expropriated and which are a golden opportunity for Beirut to gain some of the public and green spaces it lacks so much.
The Coalition’s third goal is to push the Municipality and CDR to study alternatives to the Fouad Boutros project, that are based on the optimization, punctual interventions and smart management of existing road infrastructure. Including the construction of a network of new efficient interchanges, new connections and of a tunnel along the entire length of the Charles Malek avenue.
More globally, the Coalition wishes to push for the serious development of public transportation in and around Beirut, which is the most radical, durable and environmental friendly of solution.
Through its opposition to this specific project, the Coalition aims at setting a strong precedent, in favor of concertation and dialogue between the Municipality and the citizens it is supposed to represent. To introduce new ways of thinking the city and its urban development, that is based on true and deep knowledge, and sensitivity, for the highly complex city that is Beirut.
The Coalition includes the following NGOs, groups and associations :
Association for the Protection of the Lebanese Heritage
Save Beirut Heritage
All Against Corruption
Green Party of Lebanon
Green Line Association
The Lebanon Eco Movement (network of 60 NGOs)
Five Stars Tourism
Green Cedar Lebanon
Youth of Lebanon
Nature sans Frontière