The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU's Camillo Boano participates in conference and research trip to Lebanon

30 March 2023

As part of the PRO.Col Lebanon, a project lead by IGP (a second phase, spin off of the RELIEF project just closed), DPU's Camillo Boano participated in the conference “Vital Lebanon: Uncertainty, Solidarity, Activism & Energetics”.

Beirut cityscape

The conference connected academics, activists, artists and the general public in a reflection on the overall scenario of crisis as well as the manyfold trajectories of resistance, coping and imaginations.

Camillo Boano wrote the concept note for the conference and chaired a panel on 'Solidarities' featuring fanytastic work around theatrical, musical and artistic pedagogies and practices. Also, an exhibition, curated by DPU partner, Catalytic Action, was inaugurated in a small gallery in Hamra, where several projects and initiatives were featured, with open air discussions, music as well as sound and visual performances.

Camillo took the opportunity to spend few days in the field in Bar Elias in the Bekka Valley with Catalytic Action visiting again the city, having worked there since 2015. The housing stock of Bar Elias is completely saturated with migrants and where tented settlements are still there becoming the main infrastructure of livability in the area. Specifically, among others, they had had the opportunity to engage with Tell Serhoun which was the subject of their last ethnographic and spatial writing piece with Joana Dabaj and Ramona Abdallah. There they helped to collect more data and reflections for new pieces of research in an early stage of development.

Camillo also spent a few days visiting Palestinian Camps in the South of Lebanon in Saida and Sur as part of his research on camps, meeting with colleagues, activist and friends, and had the opportunity to understand a little more on the Port Explosion of August 2020 and the port recovery masterplan with Lebanese planning colleagues facilitated by DPU's Hanadi Samhan.

In the last few days of Camillo's stay, he participated in the AUB City Debates 2023 conference titled “Taming The Growth Machine. The Promises and Pitfalls of Land Value Capture” where I served as discussant in one of the Keynote by Rachel Weber on futures and had the opportunity to engage in very interesting discussions on land and planning tools as well as design strategies.