September 7, 2007

Rainbow street transformed to a shopping hub

The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) said it has completed the first and second phases of the renovation and development project of Abu Bakr street, Rainbow, at a cost of JD 826,000. Director of the Works Department in GAM Eng. Adel Rosan said GAM will start the third phase before the mid of this month noting that the duration of the project is 8 months, but the municipality will complete the project before its planned time. The street will be designated for the pedestrians and the small vehicles. The project includes tiling, expand the sidewalk, designate two parking zones and rearrange the shops front sides. The project is one of several similar projects to develop the Amman downtown to attract tourists and citizens and to make the area as a shopping hub.

Amman with it's east and west part is experiencing a lot of transformations. Wither it's the Towers and high density buildings, architectural styles, or urban centers.
The current pedestrian streets in Amman are Thaqafah in Shmeisani neighborhood, Wakalt in Swefieh, and recently the Rainbow street in Jabal Amman.
Having pedestrian friendly locations is important to Amman city urban development. However, I see these projects locations are transforming those places into a modern, commercial, and a market for investors to buy and sell properties.

If we look at Jara for example, it did transform Jabal Amman to a new commercial magnet and it didn't respect the history of the neighborhood. The neighborhood around Jara is unique and famous of traditional houses but Alas...moreover it's going to be connected to the rainbow under-construction commercial strip transforming it to a mall-ish street type neighborhood attracting a crowd of noisy teenagers hanging out, and the pollution that comes from the market.

Renovation can have many meanings, it might mean transforming and it might mean conserving. Changing residential neighborhood into mixed-use districts, have impact on the place, it's people, and it's identity.
We have a lot of history and character that shaped the identity of Amman city that's unique with it's buildings, streets and neighborhoods. Unfortunately, it's being transforming in a fast pace trying to catch up with the opportunity of capitalizing in it paying it's price at the cost of it's identity, and the comfort of the existing neighbors.

What do you think?

Related Posts:

Building what and why Amman?

From an out of place architecture to an out of place identities.

"The Transformers"

Amman City Streets

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