Letter to Omar Maani on the development of a master plan of Amman

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
To Omar Maani
RE: The development of a master plan of Amman
03 May 2006
Translated from Arabic

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

I send my greetings to you personally and to your esteemed team at the Greater Amman Municipality. I also appreciate the hard work, discipline and dedication you have all displayed in caring for and safeguarding Amman.

In recent years, as is evident for all to see, our city has witnessed accelerated growth and expansion. This has been a result of determined efforts and focused policies that have attracted investment and have been served by a regional economic boom. It has also been a result of the strategic location, political stability, safety, qualified and highly skilled workforce and hospitable environment and natural beauty that characterise our city.

It is crucial that we all continue to do our utmost to ensure that Amman remains a magnet for pioneering development projects and a fertile ground for innovation. It is also incumbent on us to ensure that Amman, the capital of agreement and reconciliation, maintains its heritage as a city that embraces innovation; whose wealth and strength are intellectual diversity and diversity of its inhabitants' origins. These reaffirm Amman’s prominence as a highly attractive location to live, work and visit.

Our leading challenge is to strike the right balance between the capital’s growth, development and modernisation and the preservation of its aesthetic quality, culture, traditions and charm that characterise and differentiate our city. As we continue to ensure the inflow of investment, growth and progress of our country, we must ensure that this does not compromise, but, in fact, improves the quality of life for our people. Amman must continue to embrace its families, young and old, ensuring a clean, safe, quiet and peaceful atmosphere in which to live, work and socialise.

To optimally balance healthy growth and quality living, flourishing expansion and organised districts, 21st-century conveniences and traditional character, we must embark on serious and comprehensive city planning for Amman.

This project will examine the opportunities as well as the constraints inherent in our city. It will respect its unique qualities and traditions, account for the needs of its inhabitants, and at the same time, forecast its growth in a well-studied and well-planned manner. It will ensure that respect for our environment and nature are an intrinsic in everything we do, that our lands are zoned according to a clear and well-considered master plan, that projects are granted upon straightforward fulfilment of high standards but realistic specifications, that lands are allotted according to a well-defined and transparent criterion, and that infrastructure accommodating the latest technologies permeates the entire city.

I ask you to assemble a team that will work on this significant endeavour, emphasising that expertise and professional experience are the only criteria upon which your choices should be made. I would also like you to invite experts from all over the world to contribute to this effort, as the sharing of successes and failures that they have witnessed in other cities can be of tremendous value to us.

I, along with my fellow Jordanians, will look forward to seeing the outcome of this effort. Although the GAM will lead us along the path of cherishing and nurturing Amman, it is the responsibility and duty of each and every citizen to lovingly navigate that path. We all must stand behind you in caring for our capital. My hope is that this effort will provide a template and example that can be replicated and refined in our other cherished cities in Jordan so that our country will continue to grow and flourish and itself be an example for others in the region and the world.

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Amman, 3 May 2006