July 18, 2007

Amman City Streets

Photo by Emad Salameh

Amman is a city best enjoyed on foot, yet we plan our streets for cars.

Amman City's streets are the soul of its neighborhoods and the pathways to it’s destinations. For generations, Jordanians and visitors have strolled, shopped and socialized on sidewalks and street corners. Pedestrian friendly streets are the city's most fundamental assets.

Unfortunately, we aren't making the most of these assets. Instead, our streets are being managed almost entirely for traffic flow, with neighborhoods and business districts buckling under increasing amounts of dangerous car and truck traffic. If we continue planning our streets for cars and traffic, we will get more cars and traffic; conversely, if we start planning our cities for people and places, we will get more people and places.

Streets are more than just car corridors; they are valuable civic spaces and resources that need to be wisely allocated. We need to start thinking about a campaign building the movement to re-imagine our streets as lively public places.

2 comments:

mais said...

One of the most essential factors that contributed once in making the joyous daily tour of Amman is the topography of the city ;the variation in levels that led the living objects 2 overlap & overlook each others creating a more intimate spatial zones ,rich n diff non-monotonous views where walking around demands high awareness of the moving body; as once u'd be descending a stair, ascending a pathway, following a natural twisting path or visually tracing a far minaret, or maybe just moving in a narrow alleys "7arat" where @ any moment one door aside can open & a residence could bump into ur face… all these physical encounters associated with u looking around on some kids playing n one corner , other house wives talking -each on her house balcony - or maybe a mere silent facing of one sudden empty slit n the living tissue framing a scene of another ….
So, yes cars r one essential part in the nowadays missing attribute yet we should also mention some other things 2 be taken into consideration like the later setback regulations, the narrow sidewalks that must be planted in front of residences creating a more private barrier & not really a space 4 anyone 2 walk on , the complete replacement of the stairs by sharp retaining cutting edges emphasizing more & more on the private territories, & finally us , our recent social structure & our attitudes toward neighbors & ppl living around…

hasanisawi said...

I lived many years in Italy, design of roads consider the pedestrian crossings, runway cycling traffic restricted in the historic centre, roads totally pedestrian walkways or in some hours referring to the time of greatest flow of pedestrians (schools, shopping and events).
Jordan, in particular in Amman, I noticed that it is almost an adventure cross the streets. since there are no even the pedestrian crossing, and when there are drivers and pedestrians they don`t respect.Green areas are few or do not exist at all.

I hope that in the design of cites the architects are taken care of pedestrian as a key element, so the districts of Amman become a viable part from all points of view.

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