Lebanon plans new capital city
Following Egypt’s example, Lebanon is planning to build a new capital city of the country. The project of a new capital city has been initiated and $1 billion already pledged for the master plan and the acquisition of all necessary land, representatives of the Friends of Open Lebanese Society organization and Dar Arab Youth, an affiliate of the Arab Legacy League, told the press last week on the side-lines of a project preparation meeting in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
The representatives revealed that the plan for the new Lebanese capital has been initiated due to the persistent lack of public transport and lack of coastal preservation in the current capital, Beirut.
The representatives said:
“This, if allowed to continue, will make Beirut unsuitable for local politicians and foreign emissaries to live and work. Instead of having them commute from cities abroad, the international stakeholders have initiated the project of creating a new capital where all these dignitaries and officials can live together in a happy and productive environment.”
The project committee reviewed examples of successful capital relocation projects in Brazil, Nigeria, Lithuania and most recently in Egypt. Beside the fact that everyone found the project to be realisable, they maintain that it will also create thousands of job opportunities. It will make use of the funds laying idle in the Lebanese banking system, one representative of the Friends of Open Lebanese Society said.
A Dar Arab Youth representative confided that two location sites had already been identified, one in the northeast and the other in the far southeast of the country. Land purchases from adjacent countries could be part of the deal and would be “very affordable due to certain specificities,” the DAY representative said.
Both representatives conceded that the plan also had an additional aim of incentivizing capable candidates to stand for the next presidential elections.
The capital will be designed and specified as a fully green and LEED certified city with automatic collection and recycling of all wastes. Other elements of the new capital entail a park themed on the history of the Middle East, touristic attractions, a world-standard convention centre and an industrial free zone that will favourably host start-up companies
The international stakeholders in shaping the future of Lebanon have already commissioned global consulting firms such as Bull, Atkins, Daher & Associates to conduct feasibility studies and advanced geotechnical investigations in the proposed sites. Jeremiah Bull, told the press that the project was indeed one of almost total certainty and guaranteed to improve amongst many things the nation’s governance.
“Recent Lebanese governments have made great stride in advancing the economic participation and social justice for all and we are confident that the new capital, which will be state of the art with the help of our consulting firms, will not only be built in record time but will also provide the tools for perfect efficiency in all government institutions and agencies,” he said.
He refused, however, to indicate any information on the construction start of the new capital city.J. Bull added that his consulting firm was currently inviting bids from Beirut-based public relations firms to develop and implement an awareness and sympathy building campaign for the new capital.
“It will be a very attractive contract and we expect extremely competitive bids,” he noted.
With Executive http://www.executive-magazine.com/