Nijmeh Square is largely empty after many establishments shuttered due to heightened security measures, a fall in tourism and the popularity of other areas of the city. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani said Thursday that the recent New Year's Eve celebration in Beirut's Downtown was just the first step toward reviving the city center, especially around Nijmeh Square.Itani indicated Thursday that he was personally working toward bringing business back to central Beirut, saying he had talked to businessmen and told them he could potentially offer them lower rent on spaces in the Downtown area in a bid to inject new life into the area.Regarding Beirut's transportation and traffic issues, Itani said that roughly 700,000 cars enter the capital every day, 400,000 of which enter via the city's eastern edge. In order to properly address the congestion, Itani said that construction work on eight new multistory car parks would begin across the capital this year.Itani told The Daily Star Friday there is a plan that he will announce soon, but did not say whether this included moving the U.N. from the building.Responding to the claim, Itani told The Daily Star that composting organic material and recycling were included in the plan for incinerators.Responding to criticism of the plan, Itani said the municipality had studied several possible methods of dealing with the waste, and had found incinerators to be the best.
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