American Univesity of Beirut

MSFEA graduates succeed in addressing contemporary urbanization challenges

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Over the past terms, several students graduated from the Master of Urban Planning and Policy and the Master of Urban Design programs (MUPP-MUD), at the Department of Architecture and Design. Their thesis topics demonstrate an impressive range of research interests and geographies which we proudly feature here and on our Instagram page​. They are all keen on tackling the challenges of contemporary urbanization while upholding values of livability, sustainability, and equity. 

Investigations included the following topics:

Advocating for affordable housing amidst structural inequalities; Omar Abdul Samad

"In the last ten years, my consulting practice exposed me to multiple social, political, and urban challenges in many cities I intervened in across the MENA region. The Urban Planning and Policy Program at AUB was a turning point in shifting my outlook on my consulting practice in the development and urban policies. While we live today the implications of the pandemic, I believe that our duty as urban planners is to keep the most vulnerable at the center of all policies and interventions and collectively work to transform challenging realities and address structural inequalities.”
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​Unarchiving urban histories in port cities; Sarine Agopian

“The case of Kadıköy’s urban modernization reveals a great number of details about the trilogy of “global-imperial-local” and “policies versus real-ground” dynamics. It also shows that there was a complex set of factors and actors that shaped the state’s decisions and made modernization processes more responsive to the actual dynamics on the ground.” 
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Examining real-estate development dynamics of urban sprawl; Hayfa Abou Ibrahim

“I was born and raised in a small rural town in South Lebanon. I was trained as an architect at the Lebanese University (March’ 2018), but my real passion was for planning. I joined AUB in 2019 to pursue a master’s in urban planning and policy because this is where my passion is. As a research assistant at the Beirut Urban Lab, I developed a research about housing production in the urban peripheries of Beirut that advocates for housing justice, affordability, and the right to the city.”
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Exploring ecological interventions for controlling urban growth; Ali Basma

Unfolding the complexity of the rural-urban interface in Sour’s hinterland was a journey of discovery that was only possible through Ali’s design sensibilities, research skills and love of his native landscape” --Jalal Makhzoumi
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​Elaborating urban design and placemaking strategies to mitigate segregation and fragmentation; Lynn Hamdar

"I am a Lebanese Architect and urban planner/designer. I took my master of Architecture from the Lebanese University and applied to AUB while I was still doing my final year project seeing that the Urban Design master program fits into the career path that I was pursuing. This led me to immediately work as a researcher in the domain that I love after taking my master, while aspiring to grow in this extremely intriguing part of the field, the city.“
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Enabling green infrastructure strategies to enhance livability; Cindy Houeis

"Urban designers and landscape architects have a key role in identifying new opportunities, such as vacant land, to reconnect people with places and enhance the livability of cities.”
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Elaborating mobilization strategies to protect natural resources; Roland Nassour

Roland holds a master’s degree in architecture from the Lebanese University. He joined the program of Urban Planning and Policy at AUB in 2016. During his studies, Roland focused on issues of environmental equity and urban sustainability and co-founded the Save the Bisri Valley Campaign. He currently works as the community and advocacy coordinator at a local urban research and design studio.
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Derivin​g spatial strategies from informal practices to improve livelihoods; Nadine Salhab

Nadine Salhab is a Lebanese Architect who graduated in 2014 with a master’s degree from the Holy Spirit University Of Kaslik. Being part of the Lebanese Scout Association and following an experience in diverse aspects of design through her professional path, she joined the MUPP-MUD program​ at AUB in 2017, seeking to learn how to impact communities through architecture and design. Her semester abroad (Fall 2018) in Dublin, Ireland was one of her most enriching experiences.
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Investigating planning strategies for protecting cultural and urban heritage in post-war contexts; Haya Tabbakh

Haya Tabbakh is from Aleppo, Syria. She graduated from the University of Kalamoon with a BA in Interior Design in 2014. In 2015, she moved to Lebanon in 2015 seeking better job and study opportunities. She joined the Urban Planning and Policy Program​ at AUB to be trained to become an urban planner and later pursue a career in post-war reconstruction in Aleppo.
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