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Beirut normal

Public lecture of the Shaping cities series hosted by Urban Age

Is there anything to say about Beirut beyond the obvious, and by now exhausted, lessons of post-war reconstruction and identity politics? What is a “Beirut normal” ? Is it worth examining?

The lecture puts forward these questions not in order to diminish the city’s architectural output but to reveal aspects of the city that have been overwhelmed by the discourses of war and politics. Through a series of specific architectural and urban analyses, the lecture proposes that a certain urbanism could be derived out of seemingly unrelated attributes of the city such as the speculative intensities of development, Beirut’s geography between countryside and Mediterranean, and its insatiable pursuit of “a worldly aesthetic.”

 

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  • Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies at LSE and Director of the Urban Age and LSE Cities, a global centre of research and teaching at LSE which received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2016-18. He is a member of the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board and was Director of the Venice International Architecture Biennale and Curator of the Global Cities Exhibition Tate Modern in London. He has previously been a member of the UK Government Airport Commission (2012-2015) and a member of UK Government’s Urban Task Force. In 2014, Burdett was a Visiting Professor in Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University and Global Distinguished Professor at New York University (2010-2014). Alongside his academic activities, Burdett acts as a consultant to national and city governments, private companies and philanthropic agencies. He was Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism for the 2012 London Olympics and Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism, Mayor of London (2001-2006). He is co-editor of ‘Shaping Cities in an Urban Age’ (2018), ‘The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century’ (2017), ‘Living in the Endless City’ (2011) and ‘The Endless City’ (2007). Burdett was appointed CBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list for services to urban design and planning. Other trusteeships: Norman Foster Foundation.