The distinctive city of Benghazi is defined by its semi-circular shape that centres around its historic port.
Benghazi is Libya’s second largest and second oldest city after the capital Tripoli.
First settled by the Greeks more than 2,500 years ago, Benghazi grew around a small lagoon that later became the port.
A new transport infrastructure was introduced to Benghazi during the 20th century that transformed the port into an essential gateway for Libyan trade.
The shape of the modern city reflects the importance of the port, with several major roads radiating out from it cutting through the curved ring-roads that arc around the city’s focal point.
However, Benghazi is not only the centre of the regional road network; a series of underground pipelines brings oil and fresh water into the city from around Libya.
These developments in transportation have enabled Libya’s oil industry to grow and trading oil internationally became possible thanks to a national network of underground pipelines.
The network allows oil to be funnelled from wells in central Libya into Benghazi, where it is shipped throughout the world via the Mediterranean.
Transporting this oil through the Port of Benghazi means the city has quickly grown from the influx of money from this booming industry.
The developments in transportation have led to a dramatic growth in the population of Benghazi, as ease of access allows people to move to the city in search of employment.
The number of inhabitants has increased ten-fold in the last 50 years to over a million people, and continues to grow.
Benghazi itself is forced to expand along with its population, and its growing economy enables the city to further invest in infrastructure.
Modern buildings and homes are being built to house the new Benghazians, along with refurbished roads and sewage systems.