The objective of the initiative was simple: Take over a grey space and make it green as a reminder to all those responsible that public green spaces are a right, not a privilege.
In a part of the Square, organizers laid patches of fresh green grass on the ground, and invited people to enjoy a nice day in the “park” with their picnic baskets, bicycles, hula hoops, kids, dogs, games and books and what have you.
Green the Grey came as a response to the growing gentrification of Beirut and the erosion of urban green spaces. Since the 1990s, many old houses have been torn down to make space for new high-rises, public spaces have been turned into parking lots, while the only existing parks are either being removed to make space for more hideous grey buildings, or closed off to the public.
The initiative was a much needed intervention, especially when you know that the estimated green surface per capita in Beirut is merely 0.8 square meters, which is 50 times less than the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 12 square meters of green space per capita in urban areas.
I personally loved the event. I didn’t have my camera with me so I took pictures with my phone. There was such a lovely, feel-good and relaxing ambiance in this tiny greened place. Imagine what it would be like if we actually had an inhabitable park in Beirut.