July 4, 2008

A DEAD CITY IS A CITY WITH MALLS


When the city starts building more malls it will loose it's ability to be a livable city and it will die.
A livable city is when the citizens shop, stroll, and socialize on the sidewalks and the streets.

Who would imagine that ZAHRAN street will have a Shopping Mall of more than 11 dunum land? Who would imagine to locate a Shopping Mall between the 6th and 7th circle? between the two inaccessible nodes to an unlivable corridor! Who would imagine after Jordan Gate and the many many debates and problems it caused and a few meters away on the main corridor we will have another MALL?

What about Wakalat street which is only a few meters away? What about the Whole Swefieh shopping area? How much more traffic will this new mall generate? How much will it harm the businesses in the area?

Was it part of the Amman development plan? HDMU? or Corridor intensification?

If we couldn't stop building the Jordan gate towers! And nobody is calling for putting them down. Can't we immediately stop the building of this mall?

I wanna be a believer. I wanna see a livable city, a city with a soul.
I don't know from where this MALL came from!

Excuse me but we do live in a city full of ignorance, greed and conspiracy. On the other hand, we do have great leadership surrounded by a few good men who can make a difference, but they need to move faster.

Instead of building malls we could have infrorced an urban re-generation plan for the Swefieh area were all the shops, and businesses become part of it. Delivering solutions to incrase the social, economical, and urban live of that neigbourhood.


7 comments:

Mais said...

I wonder who needs that many malls as well... Lately you go to Jabal Amman in the evening and see people sitting on the second circle... families.. shabab... kids... People in this City unfortonately lack an open area to just sit and talk... a park... any descent open area for them to take their kids away from the streets.. and this trend of seeing people on the second circle and in rainbow street seeking fresh air just proves this...

Ali said...

Amman is not a city, it's a conceret center of the world. people sit on the side at the airport road to have a barebcue with all the co2's in the world. we dont have greeeen public parks, pedistrian area, cycling or running area, how on erath will amman be a real city? not with all the money coming in for building more concrete and more buildings and more malls

Anonymous said...

think you have a point. Also, I think it is great that someone took the time to voice their opinion on issues that matter and that affect us all.

But I also think that, while you are not to blame, you have not been shown the whole picture when it comes to Amwaj's Galleria in Swefiyeh.

This project was once proposed as a big mall. After much hard work on behalf of the owner, their consultants, and the Greater Amman Municipality's team (GAM), we have managed to transform a mall, into what I'd like to refer to as a retail centre. The reason I call it a centre and not a mall, is because, as opposed to the mall concept, this development in its planning did take into consideration the urban impact it would have on the area and on the city.

Unlike other malls, the strategic location of this centre makes it an ideal location for shoppers and offices alike. The Amman Masterplan proposes the conversion of Zahran Street from an arterial to an urban boulevard. This is to be achieved by the introduction of pedestrian uses, a continuous walkable pavement, a continuous fa├žade, and regulated zoning on the developments fronting the street. As for swefiyeh, it is only in its first phase of development; more pedestrian streets will be introduced. Amwaj worked very closely with GAM to develop their plans, and I must say that, in my opinion, they have given more than a fair share of attention to the city and its dwellers.

The Galleria stirred away from the typical approach of building up the maximum, and decided on quality rather than quantity. They have dedicated a large portion of their land to large pedestrian boulevards, one internal through the building, and another external for public use. This boulevard, which takes you from Zahran to the back street of Swefiyeh, is very conveniently serviced by cafes and restaurants, making it an ideal start, end or break from a long shopping spree in Swefiyeh. Car parking is abundant and uses fit the location; a cinema, restaurants, open air terraces, a food court and shops that open onto the streets as well as into the beautiful sky lit interior atrium.

I agree that there are developments that worsen our standard of living in this city, and I agree that sometimes it is our role, the people of this city, to protest about developments that have a negative impact. However, you are attacking the wrong development; this is probably one of the few developments that actually made an effort to better this city.

An initiative is underway to inform the general public about what is happening at GAM and more specifically what the masterplanning team is doing. It is an initiative we are very eager to launch, and we hope that it will be received in the spirit of improvement, debate and development.

I encourage more people out there to get involved, find out what we are doing at GAM and voice opinion regarding developments that they deem harmful or negative to our city.

N. Naber
City Hall

Ali said...

Dear Naber,
I'm realy impressed that someone fron City Hall is listening to the people's concern. We do have many serious issues in Amman as the lousy road structure that is currently destroying my car, the lack of beauty and trees in our streets, mind you the paint and markers. I always here people blaming drivers on the killing that happens in our streets, but what about the poor roads and lighting and paints!
Thanks agian for listening

Amman Voice said...

We are missing a major point in the fundamental concept of development in the City.

That concept can't just come from the top, it needs to be shared among the citizens, but unfortunately the citizens are not educated enough to: participate in the development of the city, or raise their opinion, or even understand what’s good and what’s not. If they did: We wouldn’t have seen the towers in the 6th circle. The development needs to come from down to the top and not top down. To do that you need to give the citizens that leadership.

I don't see the location as a strategic one nor important to the area. We already have plenty of shops that need Development and maintenance. Maybe it's strategic to build a Green PARK, but whose gonna pay for it?
Did Amwaj and GAM take the opinion of the neighborhood residents, retailers, and retails before building the project?
Do we have a proper infrastructure or a pedestrian to walk at Zahran Street? What about the congestions?
I know that First things come first. If we need a better neighborhood, a better environment, and a better livable streets and pedestrians we need to focus on building livable streets and pedestrians not new buildings and malls.
Which continuous facades or regulatory zoning? Do we have any urban typology for the city?
Our buildings, and especially the new ones are only objects, with different styles and so much heterogeneous shapes.
We need to understand that development have different meanings other than building towers, Malls, and occupying new lands.
The concerns of Swefiyeh area are:
- The existing retail stores and the urban problems in that area from: Pedestrian, Parking, streets, regulations, etc.
- The impact of having new malls in that area that will compete with the existing retails and economically threaten it's sustainability.
- The location of the mall and it's impact on traffic in that area.
This project and others shows that the Master Plan is:
A PROPOSAL FOR PROPERTY DEVELOPERS TO INVEST IN AMMAN.
Other names: Tower development plan, High density development, or HDMU.

Al;mashkalgy said...

Amman Voice,,,, "but unfortunately the citizens are not educated enough to: participate in the development of the city, or raise their opinion, or even understand what’s good and what’s not. If they did: We wouldn’t have seen the towers in the 6th circle. The development needs to come from down to the top and not top down. To do that you need to give the citizens that leadership. "

what makes more educated than anybody?Is it because you write english and has a degree in some kind of Voodo dicipline?

almashkalgy said...

I meant to write what makes you more awar and educated than others?