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The development of Beirut Central District (BCD) into the finest city center in the Middle East, is one of the most ambitious postwar reconstruction and urban regeneration ventures of our time. Based on a
master plan which optimizes the site's natural assets and draws on its rich heritage, the project aims at creating a modern district spreading over 1.8 million sq m of land, one-third reclaimed from the sea, and offering a mix of facilities totaling 4.69 million sq m of floor space.

SOLIDERE, the private company taking on the challenge of this 25 year project, plans a modern infrastructure of roads utilities, public areas and marine works. More than half a million square meters of landfill will provide land for two marinas, a seaside promenade and a green park.

Of the total area, 863 hectares will consist of SOLIDERE development plots. The remaining area will consist of government properties - including roads, utilities, squares, and public gardens - and exempted lots. Planning studies for the project were prepared on the basis of a BCD projected population of 40,000 residents and 100,000 daytime employees.

This highly ambitious plan sets out to reinstate the city center in the metropolitan Beirut, preserve its historic heart, build a new land comprising of a financial district and leisure facilities, rebuilding the old Souks, improve and extend green space, restore and refurbished traditional residential areas, create a tree-lined avenue extending to the seafront promenade, enhance and integrate archaeological sites, officially restrict high-rise tall building along main thoroughfares, reduce private vehicle traffic and encourage the use of public transport by building underground parking in busier districts.

The Master Plan divides the overall land use area into two sections: public domain, made up of roads and public open space; and developmental area, comprising of the sites of retained building and vacant land for development. The developmental area is comprised of:

Built-Up Area in Square Meters

Percentage Area


1,565,000 34%


1,924,000 42%


623,000 12%

Cultural Facilities and Government Offices

358,000 8%


220,000 4%


4,690,000 100%

The master plan does not contain fixed land use policies and does not prescribe land allocation. 

Instead, land use is relatively flexible and market driven within broad strategic objectives and general mixed-use policy that is expressed in the sector regulations. 

While the master plan is flexible on its land use, it is specific on the physical, three-dimensional aspects of the development. Maximum building heights are given for every block and varied between 11 meters, 120 meters for the specific hotel district, and up to 160 meters in the new Financial District. The floor area ratios vary between 1:2 to 1:12. For the purpose of development control, the Beirut Central District (BCD) is subdivided into 10 zones or "sectors".

SOLIDERE is planning on rebuilding the souks and has plans for a 3000 car underground parking garage on the site.
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