January 14, 2010

Street Maps of Jordan is provided by an Israeli based company!!!

After a long wait and lots of debates we finally entered the civilized Geo world. Thank's to Navteq and of course google maps for providing the service to the Jordanians. Now we can play with maps and build different solutions around it, and of course driving directions.

The delays for not publishing the maps came from some laid back officials whom I am sure they don't think outside their "square meter" were they take the Maps issue as a strategic, or political decision. Well... I was laughing on that but this finding I am talking about is even more funny.

Street Maps of Jordan
( look at the information in the map at the bottom) provided by google maps, were you can navigate for our streets and buildings, is been provided by an Israeli based company called MAPPA GISrael. The leading geographic database and GIS company in Israel.

I am not sure how this happen. How can our geodata been provided by an Israeli company.

The satellite maps can be easily provided by Digital globe or others, but data collection and Geo codding is being built and published by Navteq, while google provide the platform in a very simple to use way. I know they might subcontract a local company to collect the data but how did an Israeli based company collected the information about our streets and buildings?

June 22, 2009

Amman Centennial Forum

Event: Transparency in Urban Governance

Host: Amman Institute

Type: Education - Lecture

Thursday, June 25, 2009
10:00am - 12:00pm
King Hussein Cultural Center
Ras Al Ain

June 19, 2009

Architectural week

Event: الاسبوع المعماري - Architectural Week
Target: Architecture, Architects, Landscape, Construction Materials, Tourism, Resorts
Start Time:
Monday, June 22, 2009 at 5:00pm
End Time:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 5:00pm
Jordan Contractors Association - Abdoun

June 12, 2009

Lecture " Noise Pollution & Environment"

Host: Be Aware of Noise Pollution effects on Human Health
Date: Monday, June 15, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: YWCA - Main Hall - Jabal Amman / 3rd Circle
Street: Mithgal Al-Fayez
City/Town: Amman, Jordan
Phone: 064641119

Description: This Lecture is the first event in support of Be Aware of Noise Pollution effects on Human Health campaign to avoid noise pollution hazards on human health.
This event is supported by The Jordan Hashemite Fund For Human Development.
The lecturer is Dr. Mahmoud Al-Asad a specialist in health and related environmental hazards.

May 9, 2009

Amman city street curb

Street curb height is tolerable when it's between 2 and 4 cm. Most of the street curbs in Amman city are very problematic, unpleasant and even dangerous.

It is interesting that in many cities arround the globe most of the street curbs are built at the height of 0 cm or 1 cm which is much better solution, more accessible, and less dangerous. Also, it is much more pleasant and “normal” to cross the street with such curbs.

As for street crossings, the standard for building lowered curbs at street crossings should be 0 cm; not only for obvious reason.

Most of Amman street curbs are built with a 20 cm height, even higher, with a disconnected network of pedestrian movement.

Street curb form an important element in the urban design of the city. With a more appropriate curbs the pedestrian network will be improved, and the citizens will have a more pleasent pedestrian movement.

We keep investing our resources in building our pedestrian network and it still fail to serve the pedestrians. The problem have many dimentions but a proper street curb height need to be enforced in order to get a friendly height for the pedestrians.

April 17, 2009

Voidz Studio - Production House based in Amman

Voidz Studio is a creative production house based in Amman. Check this video that I just got from Ghassan Aqel, the creative founder of Voidz Studio.

For high quality video go to : http://www.vimeo.com/4178362

Enjoy... and good luck Ghassan .

Type rest of the post here

April 16, 2009

The Road Safety Center OF Excellence Won Al-Hasan Bin Talal Award for Scientific Excellence

April 12th, 2008 Amman/Jordan

The Road Safety Center for Excellence of the German Jordanian University recently won Al Hassan Bin Talal Award for Scientific Excellence for the year 2009, for its achievements in the Road Safety Auditing and for projects implemented in this field.

Holding workshops and starting a diploma program in road safety were the best projects that drove RSCOE to the award. In addition to other projects that were creatively provided by the center; such as case studies of some relevant streets and intersections in Amman prepared by local experts and students. At a later stage, and in cooperation with traffic engineers from the Greater Amman Municipality, these study-cases were formulated and several sites in Jordan were visited by the center's teams. Consequently, the " Road Safety Auditing level 1 " workshop has been launched by the center as a second step following the documentation of each case into reports. This workshop took place at the facilities of GJU and on the streets of Amman Recently; the center prepared three workshops covering three regions in Jordan: the north, middle, and south in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs.

Mr. Emad Salameh, the Director of RSCOE, stated: "our center has a clear vision to become a center of excellence by combining education, scientific research and advanced knowledge in a national strategy for road safety, and that was our path to this precious award, which we are all proud of ".

RSCOE is a pioneering center and first of it’s kind in the region, founded by Hikmat Road Safety in cooperation with German Jordan University, Greater Amman Municipality, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

The center’s main objective is to qualify experts in Road Safety targeting governmental and non governmental professionals covering all of Jordan. The center began establishing a database by developing standards and guidelines for road safety auditing adopted from other countries and adjusted to suit Jordan's regulations.

March 20, 2009

Amman City growth needs to be controlled

Amman City needs to take serious measures towards controlling the growth and not adapting the growth.

Amman is growing fast and it's population is expected to increase up to 6 million in year 2025. We've seen reactions toward this expected growth from different organizations and one of them were Amman growth plan introduced by GAM.

Amman city is developing rapidly, but it's development is taking the shape of expansion and or adaptation. On the other hand, more measures needs to be taken towards containing the growth, Urban Sprawl, increase in population, immigration ( Jordan have high immigration rates according to CIA Factbook), and immigration from less developed cities to the capital. 

Land expansion and increase in population has it's danger to the identity of the city, the environment, and the economy in general and sometimes it must be contained rather than being adapted. On the other hand, less developed neighbourhoods in the city, and other less developed cities in Jordan needs more development. 

Our resources are scarce and need to be used for development and not growth, otherwise we will loose the opportunity of development. 

Related Posts:


World Car Free Day

Every September 22nd, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighborhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society. Amman city suffers from Urban Sprawl and the domination of cars, our lifes became car dominated and we rarely enjoy nature and the environment. Shouldn't we become part of this global day?

"World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet and putit on politicians and planners to give priority to cycling, walking and publictransport," says Randall Ghent, initiator of the first World Carfree Day in 2000. The global day of action now takes place annually on September22. On September 22, 2007, World Carfree Network and its member organizations around the world call for permanent changes to make cities more environmentally and socially sustainable 365 days a year. In more than 1,500 cities and 40countries, liked-minded active citizens around the world will call for measuresthat actively reduce car use, with carfree street festivals, bicycle parades,street closures and other special events.For individuals, the network and its supporters will distribute a condensed one-month version of its Autoholics Anonymous 12-step programme, to give people the support they need to kick the car habit.For municipalities, the network and its supporters will encourage implemention of the infrastructural and policy changes necessary to reduce our society’s car dependence and increase our quality of life. As a separate project related to World Carfree Day, the network has put out a call for submissions for its 2nd Annual Street Conversion Design Contest (www.worldcarfree.net/contest/), challenging people to come up with cutting-edge designs to transform existing areas to create lively people-oriented spaces free of traffic. They are encouraged to implement the designs on the ground on September 22.

Related Posts:

Amman City Streets

Mechanisms to reduce traffic accidents

Activism .. Actions Not Words

Al-Weibdeh carnaval

Amman City Parade

Amman City Street Block Celebration

March 19, 2009

Lecture at Beit-Almemar: "Pedestrian Road Safety"

As part of our efforts in building the capacity of Road Safety professionals in Jordan. The Jordanian Architects Society with cooperation of The Road Safety Center of Excellence is holding a public lecture at the "Jordanian Architects Society", targeting the architects and engineers.

The lecture titled: "An Architectural Perspective on Pedestrian Road Safety "

Who: Architect Emad Amin Salameh, RSCOE GM

When: Saturday, March 21st at 6:00 PM

Where: Beit ALMemar ( Jabal Alqal3a )

Invitation is open for the public.

February 20, 2009

Amman the city of Soul ?

According to amman plan you can notice the slogan: "a livable city is an organized city with a soul." I was navigating Monocle's published list of the most livable cities trying to find the features of a livable cities and I found the following:

# 1: Munich emerges as the most liveable city

#2: Copenhagen is Scandinavia's most desirable city

#3: For Zurich, new vibrancy in Switzerland's finance capital

#4: Tokyo's peace behind the glitter

#5: In Vienna, Mittel-European grandeur meets modernity

#6: Helsinki's western chic retains a Finnish edge

#7: Sydney creates urbanity by the beach

#8: Stockholm shows the big charms of a small city

#9: Honolulu is a truly global city

#10: Madrid emerges from Barcelona's shadow

#11: Melbourne's touch of old Europe

#12: Montreal mixes French flair and American urbanity

#13: Barcelona boasts a cosmopolitan mix

#14: Kyoto combines antiquity with style

#15: Vancouver is experiencing a boom

#16: Auckland slowly gets to know itself

#17: Singapore's newly blossoming cultural landscape

#18: Hamburg's hip, modern metropolis

#19: Paris - rainy, gray, still a great place to live

#20: Geneva's efficient savoir-vivre

Finally... We all need to work on executing Amman Plan. There is a lot of work ahead of us, and it won't happen if we didn't take the responsibility of building the city, to make it more livable

January 23, 2009

Democracy in the arab world

Political Thoughts:

The only two countries in the Arab world with democratic presidential elections are Palestine and Lebanon. Both have political problems, attacked by Israel, and the world is against them. Isn't that Ironic? Maybe we are not ready for democracy, or maybe the west don't want a real democracy!

January 3, 2009

YOU can Help GAZA

You can support Gaza and donate NOW:

- Greater Amman Municipality in coopration with Jordan River Foundation is collecting flour, rice, sugar, oil, powder milk, infant formula and tea. Those wishing to offer any assistance can call telephone ++962-6-4619968, fax ++962-6-4746822, email: communication@ammancity.gov.jo.

- Through UNRWA can deposit in Arab Bank, SWIFT Code: ARABPS22600 or HSBC: BBMEJOAX.

- Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, Tel,: +962 6 46181. OR deposit at: Jordan Islamic Bank, account number 12920 and the Union Bank, account number 245666.

- Jordan River Foundation, Tel.: +962 6 593 3211. Or deposit at: Kuwait Bank’s main branch, account number 0252318087.

If you know other channels for distribution you can post it here too?

December 24, 2008

The future of public transportation in Amman

Under a major public transport plan by GAM, huge buses will be operated on main routes in the capital (Photo courtesy of GAM)

GAM is serious about developing transportation alternatives in the City by proposing two major BRT projects ( Bus Rapid Transport), the first one will pass by Queen Rania Street and the second will pass by AL- Abdali . Currently, the infrastructure of the Public transportation in Amman is very week and only 17% of the residents use them. That's a very low percentage, especially that the transportation alternatives are not available. GAM is also building the infrastructure of the street side at many locations inside the city, to make it more pedestrian friendly. All these projects give us some hope about the future of the city. However, it's not that easy to develop Transportation alternatives in the city, to make it more livable and solve traffic congessions!

Amman Voice called for transportation alternatives in many posts. On July 2007, Amman Voice published a post: Promoting for transportation alternatives in Amman City:
" This can be part of a general mission to reclaim Amman city streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking, and public transit as the best transportation alternatives. Seeking to change Amman transportation priorities to encourage and increase clean, quite, friendly travel, and decrease car use. What we seek is a rational transportation alternative based on a :"Green transportation Hierarchy," which gives preference to modes of travel based on their benefits and costs to society. Read below about Green transportation hierarchy."

And in another post Amman city traffic congestions :

"Finally, the new development plan for Amman City expansion need to make transportation, traffic, and parking as a very serious issue to be studied "comprehensively" and "responsively" to prevent serious future problems. Moreover, it must go hand by hand with all other public and private sectors to ensure the effectiveness of traffic and transportation initiatives in Amman City."

Another post : " Do you think this is a good idea to solve the city traffic congestions in AMMAN, limit pollution, and find alternatives for transportation? What if the city contracted a foreign company to sponsor and finish the project and get the revenue for about 10 or 20 years before the city get it back?"

December 19, 2008

Jordan Hotel and Hospitality Guide

Jordan Hotel & Hospitality Guide (JH&HG) is the official guide to Jordan hotel and hospitality services, the most comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date guide on Jordan’s fast-growing range of hotels and hospitality.

The travel industry in Jordan is booming with growing numbers of both business visitors and 
tourists, instep with the fast expanding economy and Jordan’s growing links with all parts of the world. Travelers are also increasingly moving beyond the well-trodden paths through Dubai, Egypt and visiting other cities throughout the Middle East.

Jordan has quick emerged as one of the region’s top venues for trade exhibitions, and is now one of the main choices for regional conventions. The rise in tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) activity supports the development of Jordan’s hospitality industry. Most of the world’s top hospitality groups are now in the Jordanian market and plenty of new hospitality projects are in planning and discussion. This market has huge potential, and Jordan Hotel & Hospitality Guide is with you to keep up with the changes.

This guide has been designed as an industry guide for daily use by travel agents, travel planners, events organizers and ordinary travelers. It has listings for 180 hotels in all the cities, and more than 300 allied members. All entries are indexed in a number of different ways to allow for fast access. Special sections provide information on business and leisure facilities.

We hope you find this directory useful to your business to participate, and that it helps you to realize profitable business deals and pleasant journeys throughout Jordan.

The next issue will be published in March 2009. To advertise and participate call SADDA at: 0799088911 or e-mail: info@sadda.jo 

December 17, 2008

Conservation Standards in Architectural Practice

Jordanian Architects Society is honored to invite you this Wednesday 17/12/2008 - 5:50PM at JAS Headquarter / Jabal Al-Qala'a to an architectural gathering under the title(Conservation Standards in Architectural Practice) that will be presented by Dr. Salim Elwazani ( Professor of Architecture & Environmental Design at Bowling Green State University, Ohio State, USA) and will include some of his distinguished theoretical and practical experience in this field.