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‘Time to think big’

Nov 02,2017 - Last updated at Nov 02,2017

The government’s plan for a new Amman has generated a lot of debate about the pros and cons of the project.

Overall, the opinions expressed are positive and constructive.

The cynical and paranoid comments made by some should be utterly ignored. People who make such remarks are always the cynics and the naysayers.

The project, many feel, is not only vital, but long overdue.

The capital cannot continue to expand in all directions in a chaotic manner, swallowing arable land and consuming spaces that are essential for people’s physiological and psychological needs.

We are fed up with traffic congestion, narrow streets, shopping complexes without enough parking spaces, inadequate sidewalks and the absence of ample green areas within the city.

Amman is too crowded and disorderly. And though it has its own charm, it cannot be turned into the dream city we all hope for. 

We have, for decades, tried to push in the direction of making Amman our dream city, but have not succeeded.

The new Amman project, if planned and executed correctly, will achieve what we have been aspiring to: a modern, sustainable city, with wider streets, wider sidewalks, ample parking spaces, green areas, cleaner air, neater facilities, etc.

Additionally, the project is expected to attract big investments, from both inside and outside the country, and contribute to the economy. 

People in Jordan are always willing to invest in real estate and in buying land, in addition, of course, to investing in businesses of all sorts.

The new Amman could also fulfil another strategic objective: spread the Jordanian population more reasonably and equitably. 

The concentration of the population in Amman has created so many problems. The new Amman is expected to draw people from various parts of Jordan, but also from the currently crowded Amman. 

Aqaba has been a good solution in this regard — as it is drawing people from various governorates, including Amman. But the new Amman could also help achieve the objective more effectively. Above all, however, a new Amman would hopefully be heralding a host of new mega projects, which the country badly needs in various sectors.

Over the years, we have implemented so many excellent projects, small and medium size. But we have not taken any steps in the direction of mega projects.

Time to do so. 

One could be in relation to water and energy, say the Dead-Red, which has not seen the light of day yet. Others could be in tourism, agriculture, industry and services.

The most needed mega project, however, is in the transportation sector.

We need a good network of modern transportation systems: buses, trams, subways, trains, both within the new city, but, more importantly, also among the various Jordanian cities.

The new Amman has the potential to be both a successful and a great project, which would give a boost not only to the economy, to sophisticated urban planning and to fine living, but also to our ability to think and act outside the box.

For decades we have been thinking small; time to think big.

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