FYP – Mohamad Younes

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Towards the Metamorphosis of a Landfill: Transforming Tripoli’s Polluting Backyard into a Life-Engineered Momentum. 


“Most cities around the globe follow a linear model in their operation: a flow of input/supply- be it energy, water, people, food, vehicles, and material – is processed and consumed resulting into an output flow of sewage, garbage, waste, and pollution. Such an unsustainable operation necessitates that every city designates a “backyard” to dispose of its output on a site that is out of its sight! The city of Tripoli is of no exception. Located at the delta of the polluted city river, this backyard is composed of a 60,000 m2 garbage landfill with a volume of 3,000,000 m3, a centralized sewage treatment plant, a wholesale vegetable market, and a municipal slaughterhouse. Today, Tripoli is forced not only to find a solution for the produced pollution and serious health damaging environment affecting the whole city, but to respond to pressures of population and urban growth by “unlocking” the surrounding remaining 5% of the city undeveloped vacant area and regaining a vital access of the public to an important natural asset of the waterfront. Studies addressing solid waste management in Lebanon in general and in Tripoli in particular are abundant (Abbas II et al., 2017; CDR/LACECO, 2011; 14. El-Hoz, M., 2002; GIZ., 2014; Halldin A., 2010; Massoud, M., Merhebi, F., 2016; Sara H., 2015; Tadmori R. 2019). None has succeeded as they failed to address the problem in terms of its wide articulated scope above and the multiplicity of its public and private stakeholders and agents and that make of the complexity of the problem that requires an interdisciplinary approach to its solution. Short of transforming the city’s operation model from a linear to a cyclical model, my final year project thesis is premised on the capacity of design (urban and architecture included) to address ill-defined/”wicked” problems similar to the one at hand. Furthermore, this research paper aims at investigation this interdisciplinary challenge through the lenses of cybernetics theory of design (Pangaro P., 2019a, 2019b, & 2017; Pask G. 1969; Strichow H.J. 2013, Wiener N., 1948), the theory of the Anthropocene (Turpin E., 2014 & 2013) and the study of precedents in Lebanon, the region, and in India. To break the balance within a system that prevailed over forty years, the research paper maps the network of agents to lead to a metamorphosis of the systems of relations across phases of time. Design impetuses are spatial, environmental, and economic. A timeline for each character zone was thus developed, taking into account the current wicked situation and the envisaged pattern of organization. The research paper proposes an outline of an architectural intervention that operates at the level of the city inducing awareness and forming an agent of positive change.
Key words: Urban Transformation, SWM, Sanitary Landfill, Linear Vs Cyclical Model of the city, cybernetics.”- Mohamad Younes