Regenerative Consultancy, Architecture and Urban Afforestation
Adib Dada is the founder of theOtherDada [tOD] Regenerative Consultancy & Architecture firm, which mission is to activate projects across architecture, living systems, and art. Based on Biomimicry thinking, tOD’s work promotes a symbiotic relationship between nature and the built environment by exploring new ways of creating generous and regenerative buildings; in essence working with nature to develop resilient and generous cities. Adib earned a BA in Architecture at the American University of Beirut - Lebanon, a Master’s Degree in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU – USA, completed the Biomimicry graduate certificate from the Biomimicry Institute and Arizona State University and a certificate in Ecosystem Restoration Design. Adib has been recognized in Apollo Magazine's 40 Under 40 as a Patron of the Arts in the Middle East, and was listed as one of GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100 for his project Beirut RiverLESS, which aims to regenerate the deteriorated Beirut River. Adib is a Fellow of the Middle East Leadership Initiative, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a Bio-Leadership Fellow, a community helping transform human systems and the paradigm of leadership by working with nature. Adib is firmly committed to the Decade of Action, engaged on rewilding the city and reclaiming public space by planting native Miyawaki forests in urban landfills through his new initiative: theOtherForest, a nature-based tool for ecological and social regeneration.

Presenter Of 1 Presentation


Session Type
Pecha Kuchas
Session Time
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Hall A

Lecture Time
02:15 PM - 02:20 PM


Abstract Body

Forests connect across territorial borders, watersheds, and ecosystems, and are not defined by cultural and political boundaries. Within 3 months, the forest transforms into a transition space between urban and natural ecosystems. Through theOtherForest’s afforestation projects, we are addressing the negative impacts of urbanization and lack of green public spaces in the cities of Lebanon.

Since the beginning of our pilot project “Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest” in May 2019, the forest-making process has been constantly bringing people together on the afforested land and turning it into a public space. Throughout the journey, volunteers, community members, and laborers contributed to bringing the barren soil to life. They were introduced to native species planting them and maintaining the forest for months after it was created.

While implementing the urban afforestation programs, we have documented the transformation of the planted lands from empty abandoned plots into educational and public spaces for workshops and natural discovery. This way, we can catalyze communities to take ownership of spaces they preside over by creating spaces that are meant to be shared. These forests contribute to solving environmental issues by restoring native fauna and flora, tackling urban flooding, as well as reducing pollution and urban heat island effect.

As designers, our role is to create conditions conducive to other living organisms; not just that of the human species. “How can we enable the native plants, birds, insects and fungi to reclaim their rightful place as well?”

After 6 months of Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest, we started to see native fauna coming back to live in the newly established ecosystem. By planting 2,000 trees and shrubs in 500sqm, we are preserving biodiversity and providing a nature-based solution for Beirut’s water shortage problem. These solutions are sustainable alternatives to harmful interventions such as dam projects that lead to the destruction of millions of square meters of natural, historical, and rural landscapes.

How can we as designers reinvent urban escaping and grow more nature in the heart of cities?