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3 point plan: Muhammad Kadhim

Three arrows on steps

A planner explains how they would change their nation’s planning system.

Muhammad Kadhim, PhD, MRTPI

Consultant and professor of spatial planning 

Amman, Jordan’s capital, mushroomed from a small town of 20,000 people to a vast metropolitan conurbation housing over 4 million inhabitants in less than 100 years. Such urban growth generated numerous challenges – some widely recognised such as the severe stresses on infrastructure and transportation – some less so, such as lack of public and more specifically green public space. While the city has tried to address shortages through a succession of planning ‘recommendations’  in its 1979 Planning Regulations, its 1988 Development Plan and  its Metropolitan Growth Strategy (2008), little was achieved.

"Amman now suffers from one of the lowest known urban green public space provision rates per inhabitant"

Amman now suffers from one of the lowest known urban green public space provision rates per inhabitant: Less than 1 square metre compared to the widely recognised bare minimum of 5. While a few city-level parks have opened in recent years, residential neighbourhoods continue to suffer from acute shortages. These shortages have and will continue to generate negative impacts on quality of life. 

The three point plan


1. Greater Amman Municipality to: Produce spatial database highlighting qualitative and quantitative shortage of green public space in the capital

2. Formulate and approve statutory guidelines and requirements for green public space provision, on city and neighbourhood levels, and integrate into existing ‘building and zoning’ legislation

3. Create a high-level entity for green public space provision within its institutional structure to oversee application and enforcement


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