Recent events in Lebanon tell a story of interwoven crises, culminating in the explosion in Beirut on 4 August. To overcome the crisis in the long-term, recovery efforts must be participatory and take a bottom-up approach, based on communities’ needs, whilst protecting shared spaces and cultural heritage.

The explosion in Beirut’s seaport that shook the entire capital last month was a more pronounced form of institutional negligence than ever before. The explosion of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored in the middle of a densely populated area, killed over 190 people and left over 6,000 wounded and many thousands more with the trauma of losing loved ones, livelihoods, and homes. Approximately 40,000 buildings and around half of Beirut’s establishments were damaged, including four major hospitals and 178 schools.

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