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« Neither Royal, Nor JordanianDriving horrors! »

Amman Municipality, WHY!?

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Tuesday, September 04, 2007 12:38:41 AM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (8877) times

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    Rated 4.4/5 stars (166 votes cast)

    Environmentalists and tree lovers a disaster is looming over the horizon over our beloved city of Amman, and the culprit is the same entity entrusted with it's preservation and maintenance. The Greater Amman Municipality. This is a cry to all environmentalists. The tree lovers, and people who are obsessed with the originality of the beautiful city of Amman.

    Apparently, someone decided that the trees beautifying the city and filtering all the smog and pollution are not good anymore and have decided an ambitious plan to uproot all of the beautiful trees from the streets! The results will be catastrophic!

    So they claim they will relocate the trees, They want to replant with a specific hypoallergenic type of trees, or something completely absurd and ridiculous like that. Which is neither logical nor acceptable!

    Once a tree is uprooted, it's unlikely that it can continue to exist. Thirty year old olive trees, a native to the area isn't the reason anyone is allergic! You may uproot a million but what about the other millions INSIDE farms, land and private properties?

    It's so sad to see those workers and their bulldozers working diligently to destroy the life that took decades to grow. The heterogeneous mosaic of Olive, Pine, Ceder, Oaks, vines and fig trees all over town give Amman it's smell and taste. Most are native to the area, most are evergreen with almost no maintenance at all. Not some genetically engineered abomination that will make everywhere look exactly the same! And producing nothing of use to anyone

    It's pitiful to see our best producers of cool shade, clean air and beautiful scenarios being chopped off and uprooted in that way. I hugged some of these trees in the past. I climbed many of them, and carved the first love initials on others. Those trees know my name. They were there way before I came to this world and I thought they would go on way after..

    It's not enough that the municipality is forcing land owners to pave the streets adjacent to their property with absolutely no rights over these paved areas. Now including any plantation is no longer allowed!

    It's ironic to see the contrast of the conditions between what's going on Amman and where I live in the US, where unless there's a serious threat to life or property, the damaging of trees is considered a criminal offence!

    Other Memories Documented on September 04
    « Neither Royal, Nor JordanianDriving horrors! »

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    • #1
    • salam
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 7:56:31 AM
    actually olive trees are increasing the allergies, dirtying the streets and are too big for side walks..and they do grow fine after being relocated.It's about time more suitable trees are chosen for our sidewalks.
    • #2
    • bilal
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 8:11:03 AM
    Qwaider, i am not sure where do you currently live but we deserve decent sidewalks to use! Have you tired recently to have a walk with your wife and your kid in a stroller? most probably will get killed by a car since all sidewalks are reserved for big huge 30 years old trees. Correcting a mistake late  is better than keeping it for ever.
    • #3
    • Isam
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 8:13:42 AM
    I agree with salam. No one can use the sidewalks in Jordan. Trees such as olive can be relocated easily (actually we did it in our own house once) and I am one of the people that have allergy from Olive trees and I used to go through hell everytime I walked on a sideway ...

    I understand your concern for the green spaces in Jordan, but the trees on the sidewalks has to go. One thing to add is that the new GAM regulations regarding sidewalks made them alot smaller and banned planting trees in them.
    • #4
    • sam
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 8:49:59 AM
    those stupid trees on planted right in the sidewalks are on of my big peeves about amman...u will not realize how horrible they are untill you have to walk on the street with small kids and a stroller...the first mistake that was made was planting those trees on the sidewalk...what was whoever did it thinking?? ya3ni 3an jad were their brains on vacation on that day?
    • #5
    • sam
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 8:50:52 AM
    oops i forgot to take on out of the first sentence...
    Excuse me but the trees are not the culprit here. The municipality mandated that land owner create those pavements. (Which should be the duty of the Municipality not the owners). What would you do to the areas that are not yet populated? They will continue not to have a pavement at all!
    The lack of guidance for decades caused all of those paved areas to look as horrible as they are since many land owners felt that they were being scammed into paying hundreds if not thousands of JD's to do the Municipality's work
    And naturally, they created them in the way they deemed appropriate.

    As for allergies, nothing is going to stop the trees that are not adjacent to the streets from causing exactly the same effect!

    Olive allergies! That's really odd, but nevertheless, I think there are a million other sources of allergies than those olive trees.
    • #7
    • bilal
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 11:15:00 AM
    Omar Maani is trying to solve the mistakes of 3 or 4 four previous mayors.
    If you visited Aqaba recently, they are doing a great job there from the beginning. Only some types of trees are allowed to be planted, and they make sidewalks in new unpopulated areas! In Amman, we destroyed things beyond repair but at least they are trying.
    • #8
    • Nas
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 1:13:43 PM
    I'm tempted to comment simply because there are some fact which are wrong in this post.

    First of all, many of the planned uprooted trees have already been uprooted over the past year, so this isn't new "news". Ya3ni you're coming a bit late to the party. :-D

    Second of all, they've planted twice the amount of trees to replace them, but instead of putting them in the middle of a sidewalk they've put them in the middle of road dividers and to the side of some sidewalks. These trees are meant to grow tall with their branches moving upwards and not to the side or outwards. In other words, even the tallest person can walk under them and they dont act as obstructions to cars on the road. Fairly similar to what you would see in the US, Canada or France.

    The uprooted trees have been replanted and they've been growing normally for some time. You can see them on the airport road and the king hussein parks. Most of the olive trees in Amman sidewalks are not 30 or 40 years old. In fact, very rarely will you find an olive tree in Amman that's that old and on a sidewalk. Typically they're inside people's front gardens.

    The GAM has carried out this task very efficiently as far as i've seen. They've gone around to the homes that have these planted trees and told them exactly when they'll be removed and allowed them to choose to have them replaced.

    Lastly, the GAM creates pavement, not the landowners. The latter is responsible for creating sidewalks, or in other words, abiding by GAM regulations. But this is because of urban sprawl. This is because people build homes and apartment buildings randomly. The latest vision of creating iskanat such as the royal village or the andulucia, are an attempt of controlling that.

    As for greener spaces and what not, I advice you read the first two phases of the master plan, specifically the corridor intensification outlined in the first phase.

    In fact, you can find it in the GAM website you linked to up above.
    • #9
    • Azzam
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 1:44:34 PM
    I am afraid you got this all wrong. those trees planted in Jordan's sidewalks are killing children and elederly who have no place to walk but the narrow streets. Removing these trees from the wrong place, will save lives. Sidewalks are for people to walk, not the streets where mad drivers take lives.

    Sorry, but your call is misguided. This is not about removing trees from forests or spacious areas. this is about a little kid or a frail elderly woman trying to get from point a to point b without having to brave Amman's killing streets.
    This may not be a new thing, but as you know. I've been out of the country for a while.

    I'm sure the percentage of trees that are able to continue on living is high once uprooted and relocated. But in the process, many will not make it

    The city of Amman is older than 30 years. There are many older neighborhoods in Amman that have been there for 50, 60 or even 70 years. The age of a tree is really not an issue.

    I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the Municipality mandates that land owners pave the area in front of their buildings. There's no question about that. You may double check this with any engineer that you know. I have just confirmed it. The sidewalk is created at the expense of the owner of the land. (I had to do it last year for pieces of properties that I owned, but reconfirmed it now just in case there was a change in the law)

    The question of safety and providing walking space are also questionable. Have you seen the state the sidewalks are in? There's no way you can safely navigate through the ditches and broken tiles with your feet let alone push a stroller up-hill or down-hill ...etc

    Safety is going to remain an issue. And removing these trees is not going to fix the safety matter(instead of pruning them and making sure the lower branches are cut to allow for people to walk underneath)
    • #11
    • Fubus
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 6:29:08 PM
    "Safety is going to remain an issue."

    sure, but removing the trees from many unusable sidewalks will allow children and elderly to enjoy more degrees of safety from mad drivers. it might not be perfect, but it's the first step to fixing the problem.

    lives of people are more precious than trees. i have seen too many accidents because children were forced to walk the dangerous streets for the lack of sidewalk space.

    I support the GAM in this move and I think this makes Amman a more child and elderly friendly city. Common sense must prevail. GO GAM.
    • #12
    • Nas
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/4/2007 8:36:49 PM
    "The age of a tree is really not an issue. "

    well, you seemed to be talking about it a lot, which indicated to me that it was. in any case, if you agree that the number of trees that don't "make it" are minimal, then how can this whole issue be deemed as a "disaster" with the GAM being a "culprit".

    "I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the Municipality mandates that land owners pave the area in front of their buildings. There's no question about that."

    I know...I just told you that in my previous comment...let me quote myself:

    "the GAM creates pavement, not the landowners. The latter is responsible for creating sidewalks, or in other words, abiding by GAM regulations. But this is because of urban sprawl. This is because people build homes and apartment buildings randomly. The latest vision of creating iskanat such as the royal village or the andulucia, are an attempt of controlling that."

    as for...

    "Have you seen the state the sidewalks are in? There's no way you can safely navigate through the ditches and broken tiles with your feet let alone push a stroller up-hill or down-hill ...etc"

    I'm not arguing the safety factor but it is a factor. There are plenty of deaths every week from people forced to walk on sidewalks. Second of all, how is the GAM expected to mend the sidewalks in the first place if it doesn't remove the trees?

    Anyways, that's a rhetorical question.

    I just wanted to point out the discrepancies in the post which I felt needed to be corrected.

    Thanks
    The tree age is not an issue, uprooting it IS. There's no way to know or gauge the percentages of destroyed trees in the process

    The regulations regarding sidewalks are very loose and wouldn't hold to any set of standards. You can see the evidence on just about any sidewalk you walk on. I will try to post some pictures of how horrible these sidewalks are. But we're not talking about sidewalks here

    What I am concerned with is the defacing of the way the city looks. I might have exaggerated my concern, but I hate to see the old face of my beloved city transformed into some uniform looking monstrosity that is alien to the terrain and to the eyes unfamiliar with it.

    At the end of the day, I just want to see the existing trees be pruned, cleaned and maintained to allow them to continue to be safe while maintaining the dissimilarities that make this city unique
    • #14
    • Nas
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/5/2007 12:39:50 PM
    "There's no way to know or gauge the percentages of destroyed trees in the process"

    You take the amount of trees that have been uprooted, and you minus the amount of trees not replanted. That gives you the total number of trees destroyed. From that number you should also subtract the amount of sick trees that could not be replanted. These are the same trees that should've been destroyed by their owners a long time ago anyways.

    They are taking these numbers down by the way. A relative of mine is a supervisor of several districts in Amman where this policy is being carried out.

    "What I am concerned with is the defacing of the way the city looks."

    How is the GAM defacing Amman if its not only replacing the trees but planting almost triple the amount of those removed.

    also, there are set regulations that land-owners must abide by. they are responsible for the maintaining of those sidewalks, but most wont put in the money to keep them maintained, hence their poor condition. that policy is changing now with the GAM taking over the sidewalks soon enough.
    "GAM taking over the sidewalks soon enough."
    I hope so

    Listen, why can't we have triple the number AND keep the ones that are there? Every tree counts. It's worth saving just as much as it's worth saving lives!
    Look at how polluted Amman has become. We need more trees. We need to build on top of what we have. Not waste so much money to relocate and replant! It's a waste of money

    And I assure you, Someone, is benefiting from all of this! And I'm not talking about the average citizen
    • #16
    • Nas
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/5/2007 2:38:19 PM
    Qwaider, what we have to begin with is wrong. This is an attempt to right the wrong. You cant have an olive tree in the middle of a sidewalk, it renders it utterly useless. Everyone has argued this for the longest time. In any case, most have been replanted at this point, and they've actually made those areas better looking; including public parks.

    As for pollution, I think you know enough about the environment not to believe that trees are the solution to the rising pollution. The problem is simply from the staggering amount of cars in Amman and this is attributed to another problem: lack of proper public transportation. This has been outlined by the GAM in the master plan, so we are heading in that direction inshallah.

    I don't see anyone benefiting other than the citizen. Our taxes paid for it.

    They're just trees.
    Yep, they're just trees, our lifeline. Nothing more.

    We have a wrong, we can make it better selectively and not in a holistic manner city wide.

    I will continue to believe that this city is in need of a lot of work. From sidewalks to streets to public transportation.
    Every tree that is lost (relocated, destroyed, chopped down) is a tree that we lost. It took us decades to grow it, and countless amounts of resources to get it where it got. Every tree we lose is part of our wealth that we lose

    I'm continue to feel that what is being done is wrong. I'm not versed in urban planning. There are professionals in that area and I am sure there are others who have concerns. I will continue to have mine and hope for the best

    The track record of GAM is not one that I'm proud of. Simply by comparing it to good municipalities in the area. And I don't want to talk about the ones who are worse. I'm comparing it all the others that are way better

    With so much corruption I have doubts that the right people are in the right positions. Until this is changed in the Jordanian society, my concern is warranted!
    • #18
    • Nas
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/6/2007 8:57:14 AM
    Qwaider, the GAM is the governmental institution that has done more good than bad. it has its weak moments, but it is overall comparatively good given the fact that it has an overwhelming task.

    moreover, i'm saying these are just trees, not some multi-mullion dollar money laundering real estate scheme out to screw every citizen with their pants on. it's a simple task in the grand scheme of urban planning.

    you can't just say this project of tree replacement is an act of corruption without proof.
    You're right, I have no proof. It's just overwhelmingly obvious. Maybe I'm just too skeptic!
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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