By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 16 September, 2013:
South Korean architectural practice Siaplan today presented plans to the Ministry of Tourism to turn the . . .[restrict]Qaddafi’s now ruined Bab Al-Aziziya barracks in Tripoli into a massive entertainment park that would also take in the Suq Al Thalath area and part of Falah district.
There would be an artifical lake, a canal heading down to the sea where the Suq Al-Thalath roundabout is currently located, a 314-metre-high tower with cafés and restaurants, an athletics track, an aquarium, museums, a separate world-class restaurant, open spaces, cultural sites and education and information centres.
According to the Libyan news agency LANA, Siaplan’s proposal is to make the park the heart of Tripoli.
The company was involved in plans for two other major projects in Libya before the revolution, the redevelopment of Tripoli Zoo and a campus in Nalut for the Western Mountains University. Neither has come to fruition.
In a city with roads full of potholes, where there has been next to no planning since the time of the monarchy, where the ruins of war are all too common and garbage is pervasive, Bab Al Aziziya, bombed almost beyond recognition by NATO, is its biggest eyesore – a mass ruin plus what is now probably the biggest inner city rubbish dumb in the world.
The authorities agreed soon after the liberation of Tripoli that it should be turned into a park in memory of all those who had died fighting Qaddafi’s regime.
It is currently under the control of the Ministry of Housing which is trying to clear it before formally handing it owner to the Ministry of Tourism which is to oversee its transformation into a park.
According to LANA, the ministry says it intends to ask a number of international architectural firms to submit proposals for converting the site into a park
Any development could, however, be stymied by private property claims. The original barracks was expanded by Qaddafi by seizing property around it. [/restrict]