Expertise division :
Supporting Mediterranean project owners in their urban and territorial development projects
Within the framework of its cooperation partnerships, the Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities and Territories supports Mediterranean project owners in their urban and territorial development actions with the objective of designing and producing more resilient, more inclusive, more economical and sustainable cities and territories of tomorrow in a renewed relationship with ecological, economic and social balances.
Among the major issues in this area of intervention are the imperatives that AVITEM addresses in an integrated approach The projects can be of different territorial scales – from the neighbourhood to the metropolis – and of different natures : strategic planning and territory project, urban renewal, urban extension…
At the various stages of the project, from the design stage to operational implementation, AVITEM plays a role in supporting and advising the project owners. It designs and leads consultation forums with local stakeholders – institutional, economic, international, citizens or associations – and seeks to create the conditions for mobilizing financiers, both private investors and international donors.
An agile approach based on co-construction, essential for building resilient territories
AVITEM is convinced that the resilience of territories lies not only in the specific development and planning actions that they deploy, but also in their systems of action, their social organization and their mode of governance. Thus, it promotes a renewed approach to urban development, both integrated and sustainable, but also agile and participatory.
AVITEM favours consultation and involvement of all potential stakeholders in the project at the various stages of its development. From co-design to co-production, this participative approach appears to be a sine qua non condition. It is justified both by the necessary democratization of urban action and its recognized beneficial effects on territorial cohesion, and by the strength that the creation of synergies between actors and the convergence towards common ambitions give to the project.
Furthermore, AVITEM prefers an iterative and agile method, based on an in itinere evaluation of the project process and on a continuous dialogue with local actors, in order to be able to reorientate the project, rather than a linear approach following the sequence of diagnosis/guidance/program. This approach makes the choice of the scenario to think the development of the territory, in order to be reactive and in phase with its opportunities and its evolutions in the long time.
Thus, the medium and long-term planning exercise no longer appears to be contradictory to the reflection on concrete and immediate solutions. AVITEM’s approach links the elements of the diagnosis and the main orientations that should guide development with short and medium-term operational interventions, in order to support the implementation of projects that are driving territorial transformation.
Current projects :
” Bourj Hammoud 2021-2031 : cooperation with the Municipality of Bourj Hammoud for the production of a Strategic Urban Renewal Plan
” Bourj Hammoud 2021-2031 is a decentralized cooperation project initiated by the Municipality of Bourj Hammoud and supported by the Delegation for the External Action of French Communities (DAECT) and French local authorities : the South Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region and the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis. The Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities and Territories is leading the project and coordinating the project management. She brings her methodological and technical expertise to the project, in association with two expert architects-urbanists, Amine Benaissa and Bruno Marot. The Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut are also partners, organizing university workshops and bringing their detailed knowledge of the territory’s development issues.
Bourj Hammoud is a residential and popular community of 180 000 inhabitants, located in a densely populated suburb close to the capital. It stands out in the Greater Beirut area because of its dense productive and creative economy and its unique history, from which its Armenian identity stems. The city was founded by Armenian refugees at the beginning of the twentieth century who fled the Ottoman Empire. They created many shops, workshops for craftsmen and artists, theaters, giving life to an intangible heritage and a rich commercial activity, which has long endured in Bourj Hammoud and forged its reputation in Lebanon. The commune has also welcomed many waves of immigrants – Palestinians, Syrians and others – making up a real cultural mosaic today. However, as a peripheral city of the Beirut metropolis, Bourj Hammoud has been for a long time a place where environmental nuisances are transferred: vast metropolitan landfill, highways, polluting industrial zone…