Hazmieh in Lebanon: A lighthouse in good urban governance

The city of social inclusion and investment

Overview

Hazmieh municipality has set a comprehensive and effective strategy for local economic development, in which the public and the private sector's participation in planning and decision-making are the cornerstones. The municipality has partnered with representatives of the local community and private sector to ensure the formulation of municipal development plans that prioritize the prosperity and common good of the local community and ensure gender equality and youth participation.

The municipality has attracted investments by diversifying local economy in the city. By employing the business model "Everything under one roof", Hazmieh has succeeded in proving that one doesn't need to leave the city boundaries to secure supplies, resulting in making the city an essential hub for investment in Lebanon.

Background

Given its geographical location near Lebanon’s capital Beirut, Hazmieh city has succeeded in transforming into one of the most important investment spots for trade and quality life in Lebanon.  It was also selected by some countries as the location for their embassies and by multiple international organizations and Lebanese ministries as the location for their headquarters.

After the end of the Lebanese war in 1990, Hazmieh had embarked on an extensive economic recovery that aimed at developing an outstanding urban character. As a result, the city has attracted people of different social classes and various religions, due to its policies of openness, social inclusion and community engagement. Hazmieh was thus able to become within a short time a city full of special trade, touristic and cultural investments and an example to follow by other towns and cities, as it is keen on achieving the objectives of sustainable development.

Hazmieh has invested in developing its infrastructure for business venues thus attracting renowned regional and global companies. Hazmieh is currently home for major automobile agencies and showrooms in Lebanon, including TOYOTA, LEXUS, KIA, MITSUBISHI and others.

Objectives

In Hazmieh, all residents have the right to the city and thus the city development should be human-centered. It is a city that values the lives of its residents and their potential, especially the ones of disadvantaged groups, as it embraces cultural diversity and ideological differences. It aims for social inclusion in terms of encouraging youth groups to participate in the social and cultural life to express their opinions and be part of the decision-making process. As well as providing accessible opportunities for women and men, resulting in women empowerment and gender equality.

Activities

  • Marketing the strategic location of the city, as a connection point between the capital and other cities.
  • Developing and modernizing the infrastructure to make the city attractive for investors, including the development of comprehensive and extensive data sets that are relevant for investors.
  • Facilitating investors' transactions with the competent authorities while ensuring transparency with the public, by automating all municipal transactions and archiving all documents electronically on the municipality’s open-access portal.
  • Adopting a geographic information system (GIS) that shows the latest aerial photos of the city, buildings and streets, layouts, and comprehensive real estate reports.
  • Deployment of security in the city by the police and guards.
  • In partnership with the UNESCO and other organizations, the municipality offers training on public participation aimed at capacitating the youth while ensuring gender-sensitivity and high training standards.

 

The role of the Municipal Council was not limited to the development of Hazmieh and its geographical scope. As the city believes that raising the level of sustainable development and spreading it on all of the Lebanese territories contributes to lifting high the name of Lebanon as a whole, the Municipality of Hazmieh in Mount Lebanon was twinned with the Municipality of Hazmieh which holds the same name and which is situated in North Lebanon in Rif Al Danniyeh, in order to support it in different fields and give it experiences to support its rural agricultural community which secures the stability of the Lebanese citizen in rural areas. This initiative contributes to spreading the culture of openness and the values of coexistence between Lebanese citizens from different communities, sects and affiliations, and this cooperation between the two areas (urban and rural) was a concrete realization of Goal 17 of the United Nations.

 

Effects

  • Hazmieh became a leading city of investment, by facilitating transactions within the municipal boundaries and addressing the needs of the local community thus improving municipal performance on social, environmental, cultural and economic levels.
  • The municipality of Hazmieh succeeded in building a ‘community for all’, by actively involving women in decision-making, which is reflected in the municipal council that includes 25% female members who had a positive impact on the municipal activity and on all the social, environmental, cultural and other levels, such as establishing a center for primary healthcare, as well as a restaurant that offers free meals and contributes to making a difference in the human life. This percentage is considered relatively high in Lebanon.
  • The city deserved the inclusive and sustainable city award, which is a joint initiative between UNESCO - UN HABITAT - and Arab Open University. The selection of Hazmieh to win this award was based on the city’s performance in social integration through building partnerships with youth and women.
  • The proportion of women’s investment in Hazmieh is close to 30% of the total number of investors, which is among the highest in Lebanon
  • The city pursued cultural openness by hosting ambassadors/ embassies, international seminars and conferences, and involving the youth in local decision-making.
  • Transparency and accountability have been mainstreamed via information sharing, monitoring and evaluation, such as the interactive dashboard project that was developed to minimize physical contact with citizens during the pandemic.

Conclusions

The city encourages local economic development and supports entrepreneurs, SMEs and investors alike. In addition, it facilitates shaping employment policies in partnership with the public and private sectors and specialized associations.

Hazmieh has been attracting investments by capitalizing on its competitive advantage. It has built a conducive business environment within the framework of fair competitiveness that stimulates the private sector's appetite for investment in the municipality, which ultimately contributes to improving the quality of life for the city´s residents.

 

further Information

Published: 17/05/2021

Contact

Mr. Jean Al Asmar

Mayor of Hazmieh Municipality

jeanasmar2020(at)gmail.com

Images

Categories:COVID-19Digitalisation & CommunicationGender-sensitivity in the pandemicLocal economy & industrieGood Urban GovernanceDemocracy and public participationUrban management and administrationSmart Cities / DigitalisationIntegrated urban developmentGender-sensitive citiesParticipation and urban planningLocal economic developmentFostering innovation
Regions:Middle EastLebanonHazmieh

Location

Related Good Practices

Related events

Top