Dima Boulad - It Is Necessary to Have Open Spaces Where Individuals Can Interact




Latest News

Print article
Mar 22, 2017
by Andrea Abellan
Register for our Newsletter and stay up to date
Register now
Dima Boulad - It Is Necessary to Have Open Spaces Where Individuals Can Interact

Fellow discusses need for The Beirut Green Project and creating alliances with other countries Dima Boulad, co-founder of the Beirut Green Project, speaking during The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play

During the Salzburg Global Session, The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play, participants have learned how valuable the role of open space can be in post-conflict countries. Dima Boulad, co-founder of the Beirut Green Project, is one of the reasons behind that.

The Beirut Green Project is a social initiative, born with the aim to assemble the concerns of citizens seeking to develop a more liveable city. With 0.8m2 of green space per person, Beirut remains below the Wealth Health Organisation’s standards which recommend every citizen should have at least nine square meters of green space. Boulad says, “Some citizens do not recognize the access to public spaces as a right they can claim, and this is what we aim to change.” To counter this, the Beirut Green Project has run awareness campaigns and organized many social events.

The consequences years of war have had on Lebanon remain visible. In some areas, the country lacks basic facilities such as electricity or access to water. Outages of these services remain frequent. Complicated circumstances such as those above make it harder to place the development of green spaces as a priority in the minds of politicians.

The goal of non-profit organizations such as the Beirut Green Project is to make clear that in spite of the urgency of meeting basic needs, citizens should not have to waive other civil rights such as the opportunity to enjoy public spaces.

Boulad highlights the significance public spaces have in post-conflict areas. Boulad says, “In Lebanon, we grow up in a culture of fear. It is necessary for our society to have open spaces where individuals can interact with others. Accessible public areas might help to change our habits, break the bubbles where we live and therefore, improve our relationships.”

Boulad says the work of advocates such as herself is not easy in Lebanon. She says, “It is very hard to have the attention of the government and to manage to get things done. Taking part in a Seminar like this can facilitate our jobs as it allows to create alliances with other countries from which we can learn and get aid.”

The Salzburg Global program The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play is part of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum, a series held in partnership with the IUCN and Huffington Foundation. The session is being supported by Parks Canada and Korea National Park. It is being sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/574 - You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSparks

Related Content

Fellows of the Child in the City - Health, Parks and Play Launch Salzburg Statement

Jun 14, 2017

Lynn Ross - When Did You First Fall in Love with Nature?

Apr 27, 2017

Xanelé Purén - "We Are Underestimating the Importance of Being Little"

Apr 18, 2017

Penny Low – “In This Session, We Have Seen How Many People Are Involved and Concerned with Creating Better Public Spaces”

Apr 05, 2017

Salzburg Global Vice President Clare Shine speaks at World Congress on Public Health

Apr 04, 2017

David Anthony – “Play Should Not Be a Luxury for Children but an Integral Part of Their Development and Growth”

Apr 04, 2017

Fellows of the Child in the City - Health, Parks and Play to Draft Statement

Mar 27, 2017

Maria De Kruijf - “We Will Be Able to Improve Our Projects and Have a Better View of Citizens’ Demands”

Mar 22, 2017

The Child in the City - Health, Parks, and Play

Mar 17, 2017

Different Ways Children Can Benefit from Nature

Mar 21, 2017

Martin Spray - "I Am Totally Convinced About the Need to Invest in the Education of Younger Generations"

Mar 21, 2017

Ideas on How Green Spaces and Parks Can Become More Accessible

Mar 21, 2017

Incremental Change to Transformation

Mar 22, 2017