A Cartography of Risk

A cartography of risk

Risk analysis describes destruction that has not yet taken place. The destruction of buildings that are otherwise still standing intact is a complex reality fabricated by algorithms, fears, hopes, conflicting philosophies and historical experience. But these potential ruins are also “messages from the future”, and shape the economical and urban realities in their present environment through their effect on the prices of property and insurance. The work visualises the abstract nature of risk calculation across Lebanon, alongside another type of “message from the future”, the visual strategies employed by the local construction industry as it seeks to entice foreign investment by depicting a modern image of a future.

Researcher

Helene Kazan

Mapping Risk

This map is produced by extracting information from three reports assessing and projecting the potential of different risks in Lebanon’s future. The three reports are:
1: a Disaster Risk Assessment Report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) produced in 2010,
2: the forecast of ‘The Next Israel Hizbullah War’ written in 2010,
3: and a 2014 Syria Regional Response Plan for Lebanon, completed by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Illustrated map drawn by Blake Fisher

Illustrated map drawn by Blake Fisher

The Beirut real estate market

The real estate market in Lebanon has consistently been regarded as its most dynamic area of investment. Even in the current geopolitical climate, the market is experiencing rapid growth, mostly, as a result of foreign interest and investment in the country. This has resulted in a proliferation of luxury apartment and redevelopment projects, which litter Beirut’s urban landscape. The city, attempts to disassociate parts of itself from latent violence (compounded by the civil war in Syrian) in an effort to create in Beirut, demographic enclaves complacent with the global economy. The images are examples of a visual approach adopted by the Lebanese construction industry which litters the urban public space with an idealized image of a future domestic life.

old as 'A true gateway to Modern Life', this project named B-Central on Bliss Street in Beirut is an image of the future as projected by A&H Construction & Development. The image shows the billboards and architectural visualisations which wrap the construction site, this photograph was taken in December 2013.

Sold as ‘A true gateway to Modern Life’, this project named B-Central on Bliss Street in Beirut is an image of the future as projected by A&H Construction & Development. The image shows the billboards and architectural visualisations which wrap the construction site, this photograph was taken in December 2013.

Dream Ramlet el Biadar Residence 1550 and Star Residence, Star Ramlet 1550 are two large construction projects, one next to the other, situated near the ocean front Corniche, in Beirut. Both use architectural visualisation to wrap the apparently non-active construction sites, the image shows one of the visualisations onsite, with the un-finished building in the background.

Dream Ramlet el Biadar Residence 1550 and Star Residence, Star Ramlet 1550 are two large construction projects, one next to the other, situated near the ocean front Corniche, in Beirut. Both use architectural visualisation to wrap the apparently non-active construction sites, the image shows one of the visualisations onsite, with the un-finished building in the background.

 

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