27.01.2023: Open seminar „Systems of Extraction and Toxic Ecologies: The Case of Cement Production and Quarrying in Lebanon“

Next seminar of "Exploring Landscape Boundaries" series is held by Tala Alaeddine and is titeled „Systems of Extraction and Toxic Ecologies: The Case of Cement Production and Quarrying in Lebanon“

Time: 27th of January at 13.00

Location: Web event in BBB virtual room

Language: English

The series of open seminars about landscapes is organized by the Chair of Landscape Architecture. Recordings of previus seminars can be watched HERE.

In Lebanon, the national vision for economic development has long been closely linked to the real estate and construction sector, which led to the expansion of the operations of cement companies without any form of control.
The presentation will focus on Public Works Studio’s research on quarrying and extraction practices linked to the cement production in Lebanon. It will expand on the toxic ecology and landscapes born in Koura district (North Lebanon) – an area with abundance of groundwater and agriculture stretched along a seafront punctuated with fishing ports and salt basins - as a result of these practices, and as an example of poor and controversial public land policies. Some tools used for collectively challenging these practices in the search for spatial justice will also be presented, one of which is the Beyond Cement international competition.

Public Works Studio is a multidisciplinary research-based organization made up of urbanists, architects, designers, researchers, and legal experts critically engaged in public and urban issues in Lebanon. By taking a right to the city approach, our work addresses spatial inequality and social exclusion in Lebanon, as it affects residents whose livelihoods, housing, and surrounding environment are being destroyed by neoliberal urbanization and real estate speculation. The studio initiates research projects that study, shape and implement counter strategies to urban planning and policy making in Lebanon.

• The Beyond Cement Competition Brief (EN)
You can basically find in it sufficient info about the Koura case and the context.
beyondcementcompetitionbriefen.pdf (
• 3 Short videos we used to launch the Beyond Cement competition in Koura. They showcase the current landscapes in three sites within the district.
• A video (EN) we produced to invite to hold one of the cement companies liable for its illegal operations in Lebanon.
• The Beyond Cement Book (only available in AR)
You can find in it texts about the topic, maps, cases’ overview, winning projects, etc.

Other useful links
• Public Works Studio Website >>
The website will be re-launched during the 1st half of this New Year. The new version is friendlier for English speakers.
• The Housing monitor Website >>
(The housing monitor is a project within Public Works. It’s a community tool developed by our team to protect and advance housing rights in Lebanon).
• Public Works on Social Media >>