DPU Summer Lab: Public realm and spaces of refuge

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The RELIEF centre sponsored three students to participate in the Development Planning Unit’s (DPU) Summer Lab workshop in Bar Elias. The workshop was run in partnership with CatalyticAction on the Public Realm and spaces of refuge.

The DPU summerLab looked at the public facilities in the central neighbourhood of Bar Elias, with a specific focus on public spaces, their material realities and the use that multiple groups make of them. We seek to reflect on the complexity of the relationships between different group. In so doing we pursue a wider reflection on the host-refugee relationship – very relevant in the current national and international debate.

We will start our investigation from a series of public spaces in Beirut, where participants will meet the workshop facilitators. The group will then move toward Bar Elias, where we expect three days of on-site investigation, interviews and meetings with local organisations and municipality, participants will design interventions that will foster community cohesion in Bar Elias.