Jordan // Amman //

Renovating Downtown

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Since 2007 the government and municipality have been engaged on extensive rebuilding and renovation work throughout the Downtown area. The Ras Al Ain district, at the western end of Talal Street, has been transformed by the construction of City Hall, the Al Hussein Cultural Centre and the Jordan Museum, all three buildings designed in an airy, contemporary style by leading Jordanian architect Jafar Touqan. The intention is to bring affluent West Ammanis into a Downtown neighbourhood they might otherwise never visit: the regeneration of what was formerly a traffic island of dusty wasteground in a low-income neighbourhood is one of Amman’s recent success stories.

Then in 2009 and 2010 the access and presentation of the archeological remains atop Jabal Al Qal’a were revamped, centred on a new visitor centre – though people living within low-income communities on the lower slopes of the same hill were left out of the scheme, raising hackles citywide.

Next in line is the area around the Roman Theatre, newly dubbed “Wadi Amman”, which was under reconstruction at the time of writing. As well as new public squares and – perhaps – gardens, plans may involve new hotels, shops, transport links and other facilities in place by the time you visit.

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