Local economic development via urbanism lever: the case of Lebanon

Document Type : Case Study


University of Grenoble-Alpes, Urban and Alpine Geography Institute of Grenoble, Grenoble, France


The present paper analyses local economic development issues through the prism of urban governance theories and models. From theoretical corpora to empirical LED case studies, we emphasise, through the anarchy paradigm, the privatisation tendencies of urban planning and development projects in local territories.
We have taken an interest in comparative analysis of principal concepts and theories of current public and urban policies that allow an analytical transposition to Lebanese regional endogenous economic contexts. Therefore, case studies spread all over peripheral Lebanon, on the outskirts of the major economic poles of the country, reveal alternative dynamics and mechanisms involved in urban development and implemented by territorial stakeholders of LED projects; private, autonomous, and rational actors. Thus, we were able to identify and isolate three major urban phenomena (zaïmisation, customisation, sacralisation) of the privatisation tendency in “regional Lebanon” respectively led by three local stakeholders’ profiles (headman: zaïm, businessman, religious), sketching out a Lebanese “Realurbanism” model emerging within the socio-political Lebanese “state-of-anarchy” that constitutes a strong founding statement of the Lebanese case.