At the end of February 2012, the Ard al-Liwa community was confronted by the unexpected levelling of the sole remaining green space in the area, slated for a housing development. Recognizing the importance of the site as offering a last chance for public open space services, the people tried to stop the development, organizing a peaceful protest. The neighborhood came together to call for an alternative development of the site, as a community park.
In April of 2012 the community assigned the project to CLUSTER, to develop a design proposal for the park. Working in coordination with ministries and government bodies, in addition to the Popular Coalition in Ard al-Liwa, CLUSTER worked to define residents’ needs, and develop a vision for the park. The project site and programmatic elements offer an opportunity for an alternative urban development vision on multiple levels: the city, the district and the neighborhood. The site lies within a grand urban corridor stretching north to south and separating planned districts from informal neighborhoods. Viewed as part of a larger city-scale pattern of deteriorating infrastructure networks, it bears the potential of establishing green corridors that would turn the former edge condition into one of connectivity. By addressing traffic congestion and crossing problems, this intermediary zone would contribute to restructuring the formal-informal relation from one of exclusion and marginalization into one of integration and interdependence. The linear morphology of the site offers room for a series of recreational facilities and services lacking in Ard al-Liwa and a generic solution for informal areas in general.