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Pedestrianization as a Strategy for Placemaking

The case of the Wakalat Street in Amman

Abstract

Borrowing western strategies for organizing public spaces in Arab countries may have negative impacts. The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has public spaces interventions in different parts of the city. This paper discusses the development of the Wakalat Street as a public space, which is located in the Swiefieh District in Amman-Jordan. Tracing the newspapers and articles about the Wakalat Street shows that there is a debate with and against the transformation of the Wakalat Street from a street to a plaza. The actions and reactions of GAM regarding the development show also uncertainty and a pragmatic approach. Methods of research for data gathering and analysis are based on qualitative approach; literature, articles, interviews, and field observations. The paper discusses issues and conditions for making successful pedestrian places through review of literature, principles and theories, and then analyses the pedestrianization of the Wakalat Street on the local context. The Jordanian experience on pedestrianization in the case of the Wakalat Street will be discussed based on the transformation decisions in relation to theory and best practice in the field. The key findings present the importance of analyzing the expected impact of pedestrianization on the economic and social aspects. The pedestrianization of the Wakalat Street has bad impact on the character of the street as a place attracting international brands; it is no longer the street of Wakalat (brands).

Published:
Pages:263 to 276
Section: Viewpoint
How to Cite
Ashour, K. and Al-Shamali, W. (2020) “Pedestrianization as a Strategy for Placemaking”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(1), pp. 263-276. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i1.1261.

Author Biographies

Applied Science Private University
Jordan Jordan

Kamila Ashour holds a bachelor degree in architecture, and MSc. and PhD in Spatial Planning (2017). She has worked with many renowned consulting companies, working on different scale projects; buildings, master plans and urban development.
Her research Interests are:
- organizing principles of spatial structures of cities
- urban economy & real estate market
- urban regeneration
- sustainability
- strategic planning
- assessment of the urban policies rationale, effectiveness and impact

Applied Science Private University
Jordan Jordan

Wael Al-Shamali is Assistant Professor and currently Head of Architectural Department at the Applied Science Private University in Amman, Jordan. He holds a Master of Science Architecture and a PhD in Habitat Unit (2003) from Technical University of Berlin, Germany
His previous employments:
- Die Moschee von Wedding Renovation & Interior designing, 2004
- Das Roeder Zentrum/ Berlin Renovation, 2003
- Das ARD Zentrale/ Berlin New Building, 2002
- Treatment of aspest contamination Palast Der Republik/ Berlin, 2000
- K & K Baugesellschaft-Berlin/ Germany, 1997- 1998
- Just & Kehr –Berlin/ Germany, 1995- 1996
- Burhan Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting Co./ Kuwait, 1984- 1985

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