PPS would like to extend a warm welcome to new Visiting Fellow, Rony Al Jalkh!
With nearly 10 years experience in landscape architecture and 16 years of experience working with UN-Habitat and other international organizations, Rony has extensive professional experience managing and monitoring projects relating to governance, humanitarian and development interventions, civil society and local authorities empowerment, the municipal sector, strategic planning and urban analysis. As an activist and practitioner of placemaking mainly in disadvantaged neighborhoods, Rony also conducts courses, lectures and workshops in universities throughout his home country of Lebanon.
Lebanese cities have witnessed unprecedented growth in the last several decades. Hosting the largest refugee population per capita, the country has also become a target for violence, and its lack of public space and urban services is further contributing to social unrest and political fractures within the country.
To address these kinds of urban challenges, Rony has adopted the slogan “placemaking for peacemaking” to describe a two-way process for intervening, activating and improving public spaces as a way to promote inclusion and interaction in socially fragmented cities. His work aims to increase the provision of public space in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the Middle East and North Africa by promoting placemaking to students, instructors, municipality leaders, communities, civil society organizations, the private sector and related ministries.
Rony also plans to attend Placemaking Week this September in Vancouver.
"Given my extensive experience working in socially fragmented and underprivileged areas throughout Lebanon and the MENA region, Placemaking Week will be a great opportunity to share my experiences and exchange views and best practices related to 'Placemaking for Peacemaking.'”
Rony holds a Masters degree in Urban Planning, Bachelors degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Political Science, and he is currently pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning from the Lebanese University in Beirut. Throughout his fellowship at PPS, he will create resources and tools focusing on placemaking as a strategy for promoting urban equity and social cohesion, particularly in global conflict zones and unstable cities.