Beirut river. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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The river was encased in concrete in 1968 .Beirut River 2.0, a collaboration between architecture lab theOtherDada, UN-Habitat, and the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, is a project looking to improve the technical and environmental elements of the river. Adib Dada, founder of theOtherDada, emphasizes sustainability and social awareness in his work, whether in architecture, research or consulting. He has long been interested in the waterway, but it was the announcement of the installation of 30-meter stretch of solar panels above the river in 2013 that planted the seed for a project to revive the river. The challenge, however, is raising awareness and changing people's perceptions of the river.This highlights the importance of the other element of the project led by UN-Habitat – infrastructure improvement. UN-Habitat has already completed a refurbishment of Burj Hammoud's dilapidated water pumping system in a separate project and has mapped where the neighborhood's storm water and sewage systems cross – in over 30 places. Dada said the municipality has responded positively to the project. For Mangassarian as well it is people who are at the heart of the river's future.
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