UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


RELIEF Centre and UN-Habitat form partnership for research and action

16 October 2020

The RELIEF Centre and UN Habitat have established a collaboration to develop a Neighbourhood Profile for the Hamra neighbourhood of Beirut, an area located in the north-western part of the city.

Hamra, Beirut rooftops

Hamra is a socially and economically vibrant hub for cultural activities, as well as one of Lebanon’s most diverse and cosmopolitan urban areas. However, despite having the reputation of an affluent neighbourhood with high-end residential towers, upscale hotels, and prestigious universities, Hamra also has residents who live in conditions of extreme social and economic vulnerability. This inequality has been exacerbated by recent changes in the built environment with newly built luxury residential towers replacing older and much smaller buildings. Another change has been the arrival of a significant number Syrians, following the outbreak of conflict in Syria in 2011, many of whom live in poor quality accommodation with limited access to amenities, and with restricted opportunities for a decent livelihood. These processes are signalling that the landscape of inequality in Hamra is changing both economically and socially.

The Hamra Neighbourhood Profile builds on a series of esteemed studies previously carried out by UN-Habitat in deprived neighbourhoods across Lebanon. It includes a detailed mapping of the quality of housing, public services, and livelihood opportunities, as well as an analysis of the impact of inequality on quality of life in Hamra.

The data will be used for evidence-based policy recommendations for local stakeholders, as well as for maximising the impact of future initiatives for better public services and quality of life.The

Hamra Neighbourhood Profile launches Tuesday 20th October 2020. Book your tickets here.

Photo credit: Mohammad Mkayes