Introducing: “New Amman”?

The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) will advance with a plan to build a city to the east of Amman this year, a step meant to ease pressure off the western and northern parts of the capital.

New Amman is a town that will be built to the east of the Ring Road during three phases, starting with the nucleus of the project â?? an urban centre called Labour City.

Mayor of Amman Nidal Hadid said that 70 per cent of the area, which extends between the eastern edge of Amman and the west border of Zarqa, has been zoned and GAM already planted a million trees in the area.

Real estate experts said that over the past two years, land prices in the area increased in anticipation of the city’s construction.

The mayor added that the project is the outcome of studies that GAM planners and engineers conducted to find alternatives to Amman’s expansion over the farming lands to the west and north of the capital, especially in light of the fast expansion of the city’s population.

For political and demographic reasons, Amman is considered one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In 1909, the city was built on and had 3,000 inhabitants. In 1987, when the first master plan was drawn up for the capital and after two waves of Palestinian-forced migration to the Kingdom, the city’s population swelled to 1 million living on an area of

Today, 2 million people live in the capital, whose area expanded to

Hadid said that there are of green areas remaining in Amman and one way to protect these is to encourage people to move east. [article]

How do you build a city? Do you give tax incentives for people to build there? Do you start building yourself? Build empty roads like a monopoly board and wait for people to buy them up?

And who will live there? Remember, Zarqa is not in the greatest economic condition so â??New Ammanâ? will not necessarily mean â??Better Ammanâ?, in all probability it will be the â??Other Ammanâ? i.e. an extension of East Amman, you know, to accommodate all the poor people.

The number of inhabitants ARE increasing in Amman, partly due to the war on Iraq. So most of these people are Iraqis. Though Iraqis will not live in â??New Ammanâ?, theyâ??ll cling to West Amman. Our increase in population is based on wealthy immigrants.

The expansion should be to the west and not the east. The closer you draw to Zarqa the worse off it is for both Amman and Zarqa. An almost merging of the two will result in greater congestion of traffic and people. Whereas the areas south and west of West Amman are relatively spacious and allow a greater deal of planning. And of course right now thereâ??s a lot of pressure on the west, but thatâ??s beacuse no one is moving out beyond the border, everyone is building on what small pieces of land are left between one building and the next.

Planning is the key issue here. Iâ??m willing to be that New Amman will have the same simple engineering mistakes of Old Amman. Same roads and sidewalks, or lack thereof.

The idea of iskanat, or the planned neighborhoods such as the one being built in Marj il Hamam are preferable in my opinion. You get a bunch of investors; they lay down the plans for a beautiful area to be built complete with all the facilities from schools and pools to roads and sidewalks. But when you delegate this kind of task to the public sector you will get massive failure and a bad result. New plans with old ideas mixed with old bad habits featuring corruption and lack of resources.

50 years from now we wonâ??t be dealing with a new and better Amman, simply a much larger East Amman.

Personally I would rather seem them invest the money in:

a) Fixing up Amman as it is, specifically East Amman where many of its inhabitants can hardly earn a living

b) Plant more trees in specific areas and protect them. Do not plant little saplings that will die in 2 weeks. Do not waste money on buying trees that require a lot of water.

And if you have the resources to build a new city then go out into the desert and build one. Like Las Vegas. Stop building on good soil when thereâ??s plenty of sand and rocks to clear.


  • Gr8 i just wrote a reply and it all went away

    Anyhow, the plan is very vague. Will it be TOD traditional neighborhood design? TND? akan transit neighborhood design? will it include neighborhoods from the begining? what is existing? what will be built? what kind of landuse will be proposed?

    This all is not mentioned. So a clear judgement cant be made. But personally i feel its a bit imposing. I hope it will not have a structure of its own but rather be integrated with its surroundings. Ammam is planned haphazardly, totally organic structure that is. If this project will be carried out according to universal standards, it will be totally alientaed body in the urban fabric

    Hope they’ll be updating us with details

  • I live in East Amman and I am telling you that this new city if executed properly can be a good thing for both east and west Amman .. however; I have some reservations on the area they have chosen as it is not that charming …
    we have been witnessing some new roads there and the ring road is much better than before but I did not realize that this was a part of a bigger plan.
    But my question is; why not choose the airport road as a destination for new areas? it is wide, close to west Amman and would give the city a more modern look, don’t you think?
    They already established government buildings there, like the foreign ministry. Also, the new HQ for Arab Bank is almost finished, there are schools, restaurants and I even saw a new McDonald’s outlet on the way … That is a better destination if you ask me …

  • I disagree with you on one thing, Amman is already growing Westwards at a phenomenal rate, and in the process eating up valuable agricultural land, e.g. 10 years ago the 8th circle was considered pretty far out, nowadays its just one uninetarupted build up from downtown to Fuhais. Within a few years the same could probably be said about the airport road to Madaba (with all the projects underway) all this is agricultural land being used up. so this New Amman city could ease some of the pressure off, although i think it won’t be too successfull because the people causing the buildup in the West and South are not the same people who would by into a government housing project.

    What we actually need to do to cut down the spread of Amman is to increase population density in some areas by improving infrastructure e.g. Public Transport + parking, Gardens + breathing spaces etc…

  • I certainly agree that it is mad idea, and Iâ??m fairly certain you canâ??t find 150 between Amman and Zarqa.. You might do if you included “Al ma7raqah” area I guess…

    We do not need a new city.. We already have great cities which have been neglected for the best part of a century… Itâ??s about time we gave them the attention they deservedâ?¦.

    The thing that puzzles me most! I am certain that most people in planning positions in Jordan know thisâ?¦its hardly rocket scienceâ?¦why is nothing been done?

    For me I would rather be able to live in Ajloon, Karak, Tafeeleh Madaba, Irbid, Al Azraq..and the list goes onâ?¦ rather than some manufactured waste land

    So I slightly disagree with the investing to improve Amman proposal…it can only work short term if at all!

  • onzlo, u are right about the 8th circle but keep in mind the bayader was already it was just disconnected from the rest. However this expansion was home grown and took a few years. The rapid expansion we are experiencing today is directly from the Iraq war and the move now has been to buy up the most prominant land locations which are the same old swefieh and abdoun and tla al ali and so forth.

    and i agree with your last point, it is an extension of my suggestions for what should be invested in instead.

  • Khalidah, “why not choose the airport road as a destination for new areas?” yes exactly what I was aiming for. There is already a move out there now however these tucked away areas, the blank spots in amman, such as this land they want to build new amman on, should be simply renovated for trees only….it would be like filling the land with something so that no one can build there and force everyone to move in a different direction.

  • Nidal, I would rather live out there too…in fact I wish we had at least suburbs and Amman remaind “the city” where people came to work in the morning. However like it or not Amman is the fastest growing city and thats where all the pressure is. So while I love the other cities as well, attention needs to be paid attention to the biggest problem demanding the biggest solution

  • There a lot of empty land to the east of the ring road. At least that’s what I can see when looking at the two maps I have which are pretty new and show empty land vs. inhabited land.

    I think a move to the East is a move in the right direction.

  • Well, anyways I think the solution is to start thinking about vertical expansion!
    The reason why High rises are not allowed in Jordan because most of land owners are of high govermental ranks and parliment memebers!
    I mean take Lebanon as an example! Even in a humble day3a (which is usually very clean and modern) got high rises!
    Happy days for land owners I tell u!

    Yeah maybe they should start thinking about Brith control programs! It’s getting out of hand!

  • Firas, vertical expansion is not the right solution. Vertical expansion is what you do when you can do it and when you don’t have empty land to build on.

    First, we can’t expand vertically because already we are facing huge traffic congestion problems inside the city and many buildings are being erected without enough parking space around.

    Second, there is an abundance of empty land to expand on and build new and better infrastructure and in which the municipality has a chance of starting things on a clean white sheet without having to hack things up.

  • Going East!
    Wow… Haven’t we learned anything from the modern world? Besides where in the world is the “ring road”?

    I am sick of driving in Amman. Everyone has to go through Amman no matter where he/she is coming and going. Whether you live in Zarqa, Irbid, Ajloun, Salt… You must go through Amman if you are going to the other end of the city. Why is that? I am in Atlanta, Ga. now and I love the setup here. Coming from the west, I took the ring road before entering the city in order to go North. Atlanta is know for it’s traffic, but it’s a whole lot better than Amman.

    For God’s sake, there is only one road to & from the airport!!!!

    My conclusion… I don’t car what cities are being built as long as they ease up the traffic inside Amman.

  • Hi,

    could somebody please explain to me what the different betweem West Amman and East Amman? interm of living standard, people, life style,….by the way i have not been to Jordan, therefore i have trouble understanding between West and East Amman.

    thank you.


  • Nas, thank you so much for the informations you provided me.

    do you know where this below address is?


    i can’t find it on the map. i’m not sure if it is west or east amman or is it a suburb or a street name.

    sorry to have bothered you again.

    once again thank you

  • Joharah, Jabal Hussein (jabal meaning ‘hill’) is one of the sevel hills of Amman. I guess it’s pretty much the area immediatly east-south of the 4th circle. it’s a commercial/residential area. very lively shopping district, mostly for the middle class.

  • Hi Nas

    How are you? you have to tell me if you don’t want me to ask you any more questions, or else i’ll keep asking you, because i don’t know anyone else i could ask.
    Are you a Jordanian? and do you live in Jordan (Amman)? i have a few more questions, which i can only ask a person who live in Jordan or Jordanian.
    do you know anything about JumpTv or SmartwaysTv? do you have any idea who own it?
    Nas, are you a female or a male?
    Thank you so much for helping me.


  • Joharah, No problem. I am a male, you can check the about page in the menu at the top of this page for proof 😀

    I am a Jordanian and I did live in Amman. Right now I live abroad finishing my studies but should be back there shortly God willing.

    JumpTv is the online tv programming, I think Smartways is the Jordanian broadcast. I don’t know who owns it and I dont know anything other than that to be honest.

    feel free to email me at if you have any more questions. 🙂

  • Glade to know all of you guyes please the person who can tell me where i can find out the map of ring road or if can be pass to my email , please so .

    Thanks again all the best to jordan .

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