Beirut Municipality is upgrading several of the city’s aging and often trash strewn parks. Last year, René Moawad Garden — more commonly known as Sanayeh Garden after the area in which it is located — opened after being closed for two years during its renovation. The $2.5 million project was paid for by the Azadea Foundation, an arm of the fashion and retail focused group of the same name. Part of the city’s plan for renovating parks is bringing in private sector investment to both save the city money and avoid a tendering process that would see the lowest bidder win. Late last year, Beirut Mayor Bilal Hamad explained that choosing the lowest bid does not ensure the highest quality for the park’s redesign.
The only other renovated park to open is the Hawd el Wileyeh park, more commonly known as Karm al-Arees or the Burj Abi Haidar park. Among the other parks with facelifts scheduled are Sioufi Garden, Mufti Hassan Khaled Garden, St Nicolas Garden and Horsh Beirut. The first three, according to a book the city printed in 2012, were slated to have design plans finished in 2013. Hamad told Executive in December 2014 that Horsh Beirut has a new master plan and will hopefully be open in 2015. Executive visited each, and saw no signs of imminent redevelopment work.