Amman municipality’s ‘smart city’ plan draws mixed opinions

A general view of Amman. (Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — Chairman of the Greater Amman Municipality(GAM) Committee Yousef Al-Shawarbeh revealed on Friday that the municipality has completed a five-year strategic plan for Amman, which most notably involves transforming the capital into a smart city, developing public transportation, and mitigating the impact of climate change. However, the plan has been received with mixed opinions, according to two experts that Jordan News has spoken with, one of whom questioned the necessity and feasibility of the project.اضافة اعلان

Urban planning consultant Murad Kalaldeh said that the strategic plan entails further development of the public transport system, among others services, “and these are just electronic services that constitute only a small part of the smart city,” adding that it would be a mistake not to present the plan to the public to view it.

He added that in order to transform Amman into a smart city, areas must be organized into residential, commercial, industrial, and service areas, and there must also be a strong infrastructure network, “in which all physical infrastructures are harmonious with each other.”

However, Kalaldeh believes that transforming Amman into a smart city is almost impossible at present, as the project requires a long time to accomplish.

Mohamad Arabiyat, survey and geomatics engineer, said that the infrastructural network is ready and set for such projects; however “the GAM has to have a spatial database that consists of maps and information for all the sights in the city to make this happen.”

He also said that transforming Amman into a smart city is a good step that will benefit Amman and its citizens. This would make Amman an “interactive and viable city open for further development”.

The Intelligent Transportation System, which is part of the urban transportation project, aims to solve traffic jam issues across the Kingdom through new electric buses that help reduce the consumption of gasoline and diesel.

The first phase of the intelligent transportation system will be implemented in four governorates, and later will be emulated in the remaining governorates with the goal of upgrading and improving the quality of public transportation services across the Kingdom.

Riding fees in the intelligent transportation system will also be electronic, whereby collection of due fees will be made through prepaid cards.

The concept of a smart city uses innovative technologies to turn cities into innovative urban areas that use information and communication technology to improve the quality of life and increase the efficiency of operations and services to meet the ever changing economic, social, environmental, and cultural needs of present and future generations.

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