One of the most iconic streets in Lebanon, Bliss Street is the façade of the American University of Beirut and named after one of its key founders, Howard Bliss. It is lined on the other side by the many historical and commercial buildings housing a lively mix of stores, cafes, restaurants and fast food outlets. Bliss Street therefore has both historic and practical importance for AUB and the community at large. Bliss Street is not, however, an ideal street for pedestrians or customers of the many businesses on the street. Obstructed sidewalks and smelly, leaking garbage make it an unpleasant place to walk, shop and eat.
In November 2013, professors, staff and students from AUB organized a workshop with Bliss Street businesses to begin a conversation and identify practical solutions to improving our shared space. A Bliss Street factsheet was circulated at the workshop. One of the most prominent concerns was the issue of solid waste disposal and collection, which Environmental Health students examined in more depth in a survey of businesses. The report was shared with neighbors and businesses on the street.
The AUB team has since been collaborating with the Bliss Area Association, recently established by a number of enthusiastic neighbors with the support of AUB. The association will take the lead in improving the street. Stay tuned for further developments, and for any ideas or further information, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org