Next month, the municipal elections will be held throughout Lebanon. These elections, which take place every six years, are for the municipal councils of all municipalities of Lebanon. The Municipal Council is responsible for providing local municipal services and with other government entities are involved in local planning, infrastructural development, and local services.
Given the current state of Lebanese politics and the continuous provision of subpar public services (electricity, water, waste, etc.), these elections are more significant than usual. The Lebanese public has not been able to vote for their representatives in parliament since 2013, therefore, these upcoming elections are the only opportunity to have a say in how their country is administered.
A volunteer campaign targeting Beirut’s municipal council, Beirut Madinati, has been formed for the current elections. Its goal is to “elect a municipal council of qualified, politically unaffiliated individuals in the upcoming contest of  May 2016, and, once in office, to support them in implementing a people-centered program that prioritizes livability in our storied city.”
A platform that covers the following thematic areas was developed:
|Mobility||Urban Safety and Security|
|Public Space and Green Networks||Green Building and Energy Conservation|
|Housing||Cultural and Natural Heritage|
|Solid Waste Disposal||Large – Scale Infrastructure: Water, Sewerage, and Electricity|
|Social and Economic Development||Shared Communal Amenities and Infrastructure|
For each thematic area an objective was given and a strategy that consists of short long term measures to achieve said objective was presented. This volunteer campaign is only for the city of Beirut and hopefully more initiatives such as this emerge throughout all of Lebanon in the near future.
A series of blog posts will be written that explore some of the environmental aspects of Beirut Madinati’s platform.