With nearly 10 years experience in landscape design 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, relief, humanitarian, local development, urban analysis, civil Society and local authorities empowerment. 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 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. 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