Laura Postarini

Laura Postarini

New York, NY, US

Mar Elias Palestinian Refugee Camp- Area of proposed intervention in Beirut.
Mar Elias Palestinian Refugee Camp- Area of proposed intervention in Beirut.
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Post Conflict Cities Lab GSAPP

The Post Conflict Cities Lab is an interdisciplinary research lab based at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University. The core mission of the Post Conflict Cities Lab is to develop, through research, practice, and pedagogy, alternatives to current post-conflict planning and reconstruction projects. As cities are increasingly becoming the main stages to acts of tension, violence, and conflict, there is critical demand for researchers and practitioners to respond to the challenges of rebuilding post-conflict cities. 

I worked as a summer intern fellow at Public Works Studio based in Beirut, Lebanon. Public Works is an organization dedicated to structure and implement community centered design solutions at an architectural and urban level, primarily for informal settlings in Lebanon and the region. I contributed in designing a process of participatory planning for refugee camps; the work involved research and fieldwork in Mar –Elias, a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. The aim of the project was to implement the participatory practices and transform an informal football field used by young dwellers into a formal public space.
This project later developed into my thesis research where she analyzed a case study in order to inform how to better develop the planning, implementation, operation and maintenance process for the Mar Elias field. This case study was based in an informal peripheral settlement in Bogotá, Colombia, where an internally displaced population has had experience with public space improvement and participatory training programs with positive effects for the community. This analyses concentrated on the importance of developing multisectoral partnerships with well-founded participation from every stakeholder through the various stages of the planning process, which ensures long term sustainability for the project. The research focus as well in the importance of providing refugees and displaced populations a right to the city which they now inhabit but are not recognized as citizens.

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Status: School Project
Location: New York, NY, US
My Role: Member
Additional Credits: Hiba Bou Akar
GSAPP, Colombia University

Research Theoretical Framework
Research Theoretical Framework