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Neighborhood Initiative
Jeanne d’Arc: A Pedestrian-Friendly Model

This project rehabilitates Jeanne d'Arc Street, a major thoroughfare connecting Bliss Street to Hamra Street, to make it accessible and pedestrian-friendly. As a joint effort of the Beirut Municipality, the AUB Neighborhood Initiative and the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service, the project brought together residents and businesses on Jeanne d'Arc, urban designers, and accessibility advocates to design a model street for the city of Beirut. 

In the research phase, an anthropologist and film-maker, Samar Kanafani, conducted extensive interviews with neighbors on the street to determine the problems they faced on the street and their aspirations for a better neighborhood. Kanafani also filmed an AUB student who is a wheelchair user, as he attempted to go from AUB campus to a shop near campus. A visually-impaired pedestrian also helped document the many obstructions and dangers to walking on the street.

All governmental approvals and budget were secured in 2016.  A Town Hall meeting at the Municipality in April 2016 presented the main design elements for public discussion. Construction was due to start mid-2016, but it was delayed due to the bureaucratic red-tape procedures. Finally, the works started in July 2014. Once executed, the street will be easy to navigate for people with wheelchairs, strollers, visual impairments and all pedestrians.

Benefits of Sidewalks (ArabicEnglish)

Published Article

Myntti, C., Mabsout, M. (2014). ‘Improving Walkability in Beirut: Lessons from the Jeanne d’Arc Street case’. Sustainable Transport, Policy Brief # 6, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut.

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