We tailored a placemaking methodology as part of International Alert’s program ‘Creating Space for Peace’ in the town of Majdel Anjar in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. International Alert has been working with youth in this town to establish opportunities for dialogue in order to improve inter and intra-community, as well as citizen-state relations. This project is embedded in this agenda and applies the placemaking methodology to build the capacities to reimagine a public space in their town that can be used for dialogue around conflict mitigation. The municipality was engaged in all the phases of the project.
We trained and discussed with youth about placemaking, social research, participatory design, and public space. The youth worked together to select the site of intervention and conducted field observations to better understand its users and uses. The findings of the observations were reflected upon in a workshop where we moved towards design and its importance in addressing different users’ needs.
The youth developed their design ideas and priorities which were then translated into a preliminary design for the space. Through a series of consultations the design was finalised and ready for implementation. As construction was completed, we worked with the youth to activate the public space. We concluded with a reflection on the impact of this project on youth and their wider community.
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