Amman: Extreme Makeover

Citizens offer creative ideas to beautify Amman
By Mahmoud Al Abed

AMMAN â?? The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) announced on Sunday the results of a competition seeking to engage the younger generation in making the capital a more beautiful place to live.

The award, entitled â??Best Idea,â? is a 14-month programme where the best idea suggested each month receives a cash prize of JD500, in addition to a piece of sculpture based on various aspects of Amman’s history.

Greater Amman Mayor Nidal Hadid, who yesterday presented prizes to the winners for the past three months, said the basic idea behind the award is to involve Amman residents in general, and the youth in particular, in efforts to beautify their city.

More than 500 ideas were mailed to GAM during the three months in question.

Hadid noted that participants offered simple ideas for improving the appearance of the capital. â??It is all about participation,â? he said, stressing that the winning ideas, which are low-cost, will be implemented on the ground. [more]

That the Jordanian government is moving towards the idea of social participation is a good sign. This has the effect of encouraging and increasing social responsibility; citizens cannot rely on the government to provide for them if they are unwilling to lift a finger. 500 ideas is not a bad number though I expected more considering that every taxi driver in the city has an idea to fix amman if he were ever asked.

The only fear I have from such government projects is these ideas will be crumpled up or filed in the back of a filing cabinet to collect dust only to be discovered centuries later and be mistaken for either a time capsule or a historic relic. These ideas need to be implemented, and not just one of them, but most of them.

Your Two Piasters: