CONNECTING
WITH OUR PAST
CREATING
OUR FUTURE
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HOW IS BYBLOS BECOMING MORE RESILIENT?

About Us

City Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.

100 Resilient Cities

About 100 Resilient Cities 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks – earthquakes, fires, floods, etc. – but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.

City Resilience Framework

The City Resilience Framework provides a lens through which the complexity of cities and the numerous factors that contribute to a city’s resilience can be understood. It comprises 4 dimensions and 12 key drivers.

PROFILE

BYBLOS IN CONTEXT

Byblos is known to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world; a Phoenician city, inhabited since Neolithic times with evidence of human settlements dating back more than 7,000 years. As such, the city is already a testament to resilience. We want to embrace our challenges, and build resilience to maintain the city’s existence for the next 7,000 years. Ancient Byblos was a major port, trade hub and center of learning; the founding of the modern alphabet by the Phoenicians earned the city its name - Byblos – which comes from the Greek for papyrus. Modern Byblos – or Jbeil – retains a strong sense of its heritage; home to the internationally distinguished Lebanese American University (LAU) and renowned for its diversity of cultural and religious traditions. The city has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984.
Despite a long and destructive civil war in Lebanon (1975-1991), the city of Byblos has remained largely unaffected by unrest in other parts of the country. Then as now, the city is proud of its long tradition of multi-faith tolerance and ethnic coexistence. In the wake of current conflicts in nearby Syria and Iraq, efforts are now underway to ensure that the pressures placed upon the city’s services by an influx of refugees and migrants do not negatively affect the peacefulness and tolerance that have characterized the city for so long, but become an opportunity for the city in the future. Challenging events such as these should not damage the city’s image as open, tolerant and diverse. Among others, these factors provide a contextual underpinning to the development of the resilience strategy.

DOWNLOAD BYBLOS CITY PROFILE
OVERVIEW OF OUR EXISTING RESILIENCE ACTIONS

We have already successfully implemented many initiatives to develop our city’s resilience, taking advantage of opportunities and partnerships on the national and international levels. We will build on these positive beginnings as we take forward our strategy for resilience through to 2030.

  • Completion of a preliminary transport capacity study with the city of Carcassone, France, to begin planning an effective transit system for Byblos.
  • Participation in the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient campaign, along with four other Lebanese cities, focused on preparing for and responding to emergency.
  • Participation in the MED-3R solid waste management project to identify suitable urban waste strategies.
  • Creation of a multifunctional public park for the dual benefits of recreation and environmental management. This project won a prize in Barcelona for its landscape design.
  • Restoration of the souk façades in the Old City, financed by Byblos Bank.
  • Development of a Cultural Center for Byblos, together with the Ministry of Culture.
  • Construction of a new municipal building, creating an iconic community center bridging the Old City and the newer part of the city east of the main highway.
  • Installation of parking meters, electric shuttles and pedestrian footpaths in the Old City to reduce traffic congestion.
  • Construction of a sports complex for community use, funded by the association of Carlos Slim and suitable for local recreation as well as international sports events.
  • Participation in "War Free World Heritage Listed Cities", focused on defining risk preparedness plans and risk mitigation measures for the city of Byblos in Lebanon and Mtskheta in Georgia. It aimed at developing a strategy to create the required conditions for both Byblos and Mtskheta to be candidates for enhanced protection status to UNESCO.

BY HONORING THE PAST and ADAPTING TO THE FUTURE, BYBLOS WILL DYNAMICALLY EMBRACE ITS HERITAGE WITH INNOVATION AND BUILD ON ITS DIVERSITY TO BECOME A PIONEER CITY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, WHICH IS A DESTINATION FOR CULTURAL EXPLORATION AND FUN.

CHALLENGES

Byblos is a coastal city vulnerable to numerous shocks and stresses – physical, environmental, economic, societal and political – that will affect the city’s assets. Over the last few years, the city has been implementing actions to mitigate our known risks. Now, in the face of additional challenges facing our city, country and region, we need to do more.

STRATEGY

ABOUT THIS STRATEGY

The strategy comprises the work that the city team has done to date. The strategy sets out the vision for our city, the challenges, the strategic pillars, goals and actions to pursue and achieve this vision. We believe that local ownership of the strategy is critical to its long-term adoption and success.

To guarantee that outcome, we’ve made sure to include city stakeholders from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds including the municipality, private sector, academic community and NGOs. Phase I of the strategy process aimed to produce a vision for resilient Byblos based on assessments of the current state of resilience in Byblos and the challenges and opportunities facing the city.

Working with our academic partners from LAU, alongside stakeholders from the Advisory Group, and a range of other public and private sector groups. We explored how current and future shocks and stresses could affect the city and identified which assets are already providing resilience as well as those in need of strengthening. At the end of Phase I, we identified 5 Focus Areas which went on to form the basis of the final Resilience Strategy. In Phase II, we delved more deeply into the opportunities identified in Phase I, using the Resilience Lens tool to prioritize opportunities based on how, and to what extent they contribute to resilience over the short and longer terms. From this we produced a number of actions to be carried forward and practically implemented – these are the main output of the strategy document.

WE WILL

  • Build our digital infrastructure
  • Connect our city’s neighborhoods and limit urban sprawl
  • Design our blue-green network
  • Demonstrate environmental responsibility and promote stewardship by citizens
  • Invest in efficient and renewable energy
  • Encourage civic engagement and participation in decision making
  • Manage safety risks, threats and civil unrest
  • Promote social networks and relationships between the caza communities
  • Protect the City's historic assets and coastal heritage
  • Establish local markets to cherish and protect local identity and traditional businesses
  • Promote innovative economic enterprises which create future opportunities that build from Byblos existing strengths
  • Strengthen the city's role in regional economic development
  • Improve the socio-economic conditions of Byblos residents

Summarized Info-graphics Strategy

OUR PEOPLE

Resilient Byblos Team

Ziad Hawat, Byblos Mayor
Tony Sfeir, Byblos CRO
Tania Kallab, Byblos Deputy CRO


Advisory Group

Zaher Abi Ghosn, Municipality of Byblos
Ayoub Bark, Municipality of Byblos
Alice Eddé


Resilient Byblos Team Support

Anthony Sfeir, Technical Advisor
Roula Haidar, Socio-economic consultant
Allen Saad, Intern

Stakeholders

Wissam Zaarour, Municipality of Byblos
Martine Francis Allouch, Directorate General of Antiquities
José Madrigual, Architect
Alexi Krim, Byblos Sur Mer
Elie Bassil, Electricité de Jbeil
Frederich Eber Foundation
Rita Chidiac, JTI
Elsy Ibrahim, Notre Dame University
Lebanese American University
Notre Dame University


100RC

Michael Berkowitz, 100RC President
Bryna Lipper, Vice President of City Relationships
Cristiana Fragola, Regional Director for Europe and Middle East
Scott Rosenstein, Relationship Manager

Arup

Paula Kirk
Johnny Ojeil
Dima Zogheib
Laura Frost
Harriet O’Brien


Working Groups

EcoConsulting: Maya Karkour, Jamal Srouji, William Abdallah
theOtherDada: Adib Dada, May Khalifeh, Yasmina Choueiri
Sarah Lily Yassine


Graphic Design

Michel Haessler, Arup