The devastating explosion in Beirut’s port on August 4, 2020 will forever be engraved in the memory of the Lebanese people. Within moments, a city with over 5,000 years of history was in ruins. Aside from the terrible casualties, the blast impacted one of the largest concentrations of heritage buildings in the city, dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. For this reason Beirut Heritage Initiative (BHI) was established in an attempt to help restore the city’s built heritage and to preserve both the urban and the social fabric of the damaged neighborhoods. BHI’s first mission was focused on emergency works such as rapid sheltering and consolidation of damaged buildings to prevent further damage due to the winter weather. After this emergency phase, BHI has engaged in partial reconstructions to enable vulnerable inhabitants to return to their homes, and a third phase has focused on full restoration projects for highly damaged buildings.
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