Sustainable Neighborhoods: Reclaiming your Street!

Sustainable Neighborhoods: Reclaiming your Street! (in 2 Parts)

Green Buildings & Sustainable Neighborhoods

Mona El Hallak

Mona El Hallak is a Beirut-based architect and heritage preservation activist, a graduate of the American University of Beirut and Syracuse University. In January 2017, she joined AUB as the director of the Neighborhood Initiative that aims to mobilize the full power of AUB to promote the Ras Beirut’s livability, vitality, and diversity through interdisciplinary research and outreach activities. She led several heritage preservation campaigns and succeeded in saving the Barakat Building—now Beit Beirut, a museum of memory and a cultural and urban center. She is a member of APSAD and ICOMOS for the protection of architectural and cultural heritage; a founding member of two NGOs : IRAB for the preservation of the Arab world’s musical heritage; and ZAKIRA for the promotion of photography and its role in documenting and preserving memory. In 2013, she was given the Ordre National du Mérite au grade de Chevalier from the President of the French Republic, in recognition of her work and achievements in preserving the architectural and cultural heritage of Beirut.

Seminar Content


A talk and a walk to present the Ras Beirut neighborhood and the case of Jeanne d’Arc Street that was rehabilitated in 2018 as a model for an inclusive pedestrian friendly street in Beirut. The project was proposed and designed by the AUB Neighborhood Initiative and the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service and was implemented by the Municipality of Beirut for 3M$. We brought together residents and businesses, urban designers, accessibility advocates and government officials in a collaborative and participatory design process. Discover with us through the 1st workshop all the sustainable socially-inclusive interventions that we implemented!

What makes a street pedestrian-friendly? Can we reclaim the streets as a public space, not only to pass through it but as a social space for interactions? Can our streets hold our common identity and collective memory? How can we activate neglected or contested spaces? What makes a neighborhood more inclusive? More livable? More diverse? Find out all about it by taking this workshop!

In the 2nd part of this workshop, we will walk around the Ras Beirut neighborhood to discover its unique people and places, its pigeon trainers and fishermen, its stairs and hidden jewels. We will experience Jeanne d’Arc Street that was rehabilitated as a model for an inclusive pedestrian friendly street in Beirut in a collaborative and participatory design process. We will look at different artistic interventions that activate the neighborhood and engage the community to appropriate the public space and reconstruct our collective memory.

Date to be Determined


2 Units GB
2 Units SE




Green Buildings & Sustainable Neighborhoods
Sustainability, Climate Change & Environmental Knowledge


Green Buildings & Sustainable Neighborhoods

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Cities & Communities
Climate Action
Reduced Inequalities
Good Health & Wellbeing
Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

Who is it for?

All citizens who are interested in civic engagement, public space and sustainable neighborhoods.

Beirut River Urban Afforestation Workshop

Sustainability, Climate Change & Environmental Knowledge

Discover what is meant by Urban Afforestation with the first project in Beirut to apply the Japanese Miyawaki technique of rapid afforestation using native vegetation.

Sustainable Sites, Ecology and Land-use

Green Buildings & Sustainable Neighborhoods

Overview of what constitute sustainable sites, reduction of site pollution & stormwater run-off, how to protect the biodiversity of a site, and an introduction to green roofs.

Climate Change Adaptation: The Drawdown Project

Sustainability, Climate Change & Environmental Knowledge

How serious is Climate Change? What are its consequences and the most appropriate & impactful mitigation and adaptation strategies?

Neuroscience for Environmental Behavior Change & Designing an Environmental Campaign

Sustainability, Climate Change & Environmental Knowledge

Explore some key findings regarding human behavior & decision making from a cognitive neuroscience perspective and adopt some of them to design an environmental campaign.