Amman, Jordan Named World’s 3rd Ugliest City

Amman-Jordan-voted-Ugliest-CityMy hometown of Amman, Jordan has just been slammed as one of the least attractive cities on the planet. Online travel adviser U.CityGuide posted their 10 Ugliest Cities of the World, with Amman nabbing third place.

I have to concede that in the urban looks department, and as much as I love Amman, Jordan’s capital city is pretty craptastic. On the bright side, it’s the only Middle Eastern entry on the roster they self-bill as “unbiased”.

Amman boasts streets strewn with litter and uncollected trash and, like most of our sister cities across the Middle East, uninspired glass towers sprouting with absolute disconnection to neighborhood context or traffic flows.

Our concrete and limestone buildings are coated with soot, sand and car exhaust because, absent the lashing rains of Seattle or Dublin, Amman filth sticks. And don’t get me started on unwalkable sidewalks and minimal green space.

Check out the other nine and see if your town is named and shamed – link here.

And people of Amman, do you think the title is deserved?

Eco artist and designer Pablo Solomon comments: “On ugly cities. We are always horrified to see cities devoid of greenery. As you know, I have preached for decades that planting enough greenery would be the cheapest and easiest way to counter manmade CO2 emissions.

“I put the term vertical greening into the common vocabulary and preached the Trillion Tree Project (now a reality). How one can live in a city without greenery is unimaginable. Gray water, collected rain water, desalinated seawater, etc. can be used to provide the necessary water. However, it takes determination, work, dedication and tenacity on the part of humans to turn their cities/living areas into more beautiful, more healthy and more earth friendly places.

“Being born into an ugly city is sad. Accepting living in an ugly city is even sadder,” he tells Green Prophet.

So what are you going to do about it Jordan?

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7 thoughts on “Amman, Jordan Named World’s 3rd Ugliest City”

  1. Hazem Biqaeen says:

    Probably unfair to call it the third ugliest capital but Amman has seriously deteriorated in recent years. I am a native of Amman who spent many years in the US. Here is a list of grievances:

    1- useless sidewalks. Better not have them at all and just widen the streets.
    2- West Amman especially was built on agricultural or natural green, destroying it in what I consider a major ecological disaster.
    3- Now, in a one-two punch all the nice villas that were built are being systematically destroyed to build ugly apartment blocks to solve the overpopulation and sprawl problem. The correct solution, as every jordanian knows, should have been to legislate so that the city expands east towards the large desert. Another example of small interests overruling public good.
    4- What’s even worse, is that now the city’s architectural heritage is also being destroyed to build apartments and highrises.
    5- lack of pulic and green spaces. In one case, a children’s library attached to a park was converted into a restaurant and bar.
    6- Dumping of construction waste on empty lots throughout the city.

  2. Truth says:

    Jordan Amman is the most beautiful city in the world all the things about how the city is dirty and not organized is false all of that started in 2003 because other country’s were in war and the people had to transport and Jordan Amman is to small for all these people from other county’s coming, and everything became unorganized because of how many people came and people from other county’s were very dirty and not clean i’m sure the people in the city will make Jordan Amman much cleaner and more beautiful in the future, all of you guys that say the city is bad are BIG FAT LIARS i don’t live their and i still now the TRUTH about Jordan Amman.

  3. Omar says:

    Ammani by birth not choice ; now I spent many years living in different towns mostly in Europe I know that my hometown is absolutely the ugliest of them ,, especially after 2003 it has dramatically changed ,, more than half the population of Jordan lives now there ,, public transportation doesn’t exist dangerous and chaotic traffic unwalkable sidewalks no green areas theaters museums or art galleries and buildings are ugly the town has no spirit not even a language since you read signs in every foreign language .. My parents are the only reason I still visit it

  4. Laurie Balbo says:

    Sophie – All these Top Ten lists are completely subjective, but still fun to look at, no? (Guilty pleasures!)

    There are loads more cities that make Amman look like Utopia. It’s not even the “ugliest” city in Jordan. But maybe negative press like this (however unscientific) will incite folks here to 1) clean up the litter/trash problem 2) ban plastic bags 3) rev up a municipal recycling program 4) link new development with mandatory public space enhancements 5) initiate public art programs 6) grow parks….

    These don’t need to be dreams –

  5. Sophie says:

    Nice. You’re referencing a website that rates which country has the most beautiful women by the nationalities of Western fashion models and Miss Universe winners. LOL. Having said that, Amman, like many “modern” cities in the Middle East looks pretty ugly outside its historic areas.

  6. Catherine says:

    craptastic….love it!

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