541 Jordan Trees Sacrificed for Dubai-esque Development Project

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The privately-owned Abdali development company promises that the new 384,000 sqm commercial center in the heart of Jordan’s capital Amman will offer “lush inviting spaces that beckon and call for your attention.” “Notice the elements subtly woven into the new downtown’s [sic] environment,” their web marketing person gushed. “Delight in the blossoming urban forest close […]

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Creative Urban Planning for Play Time in Jordan

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My nephews are fortunate. They live on a verdant property called Hungrytown Hollow among enormous trees and bucolic rolling hills outside Charlottesville, Virginia. In the summertime the two boys splash around in a lake near their property and go on long hikes with their father. They chase chickens and plant seeds and are called upon to help […]

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Amman School Grows Tomorrow’s Activists

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Graduation by Demonstration is a school assignment on steroids. Educators Michael Gohde and Molly Van Cleave dreamed up this novel project over three years ago as a means to exercise all the skills in an 8th grader’s backpack. Middle school lays the foundation for high school. Kids learn to write. Really write. They learn to […]

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Jordanian’s Nuclear Meltdown Resembles a Soap Opera

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Jordan’s parliament voted last week to shelve the nation’s nuclear power program due to doubts over project financing.  The action stopped this divisive project viewed by some as a solution to the country’s dependence on imported energy, and by others as a reckless use of resources with unacceptable risks. The vote suspended construction of Jordan’s first […]

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Enforcing Smoke-free Workplaces in Jordan

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I just spit out my coffee. About to move house for the fifth time in as many years, I take a day to escape the cardboard box Himalayas towering in the living room.  Plus there’s heavy construction going on next door, and it sounds like all of Amman’s stray cats are in heat. I grab a laptop and […]

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Understanding Jordan’s Nuclear Ambitions

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Begin with a 3-pronged disclaimer: I’m no engineer; I’m as political as a daisy; and since leaving university, my preferred way of learning is fairly chaotic. I bump into things. That draw me to other things. Thing One and Thing Two quickly lead to Thing Fifty-Three; and when I look up, blinking, discombobulated, I’m “sort of” knowledgeable about […]

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UN Office in Jordan Gets the Green Building Gold

The World Health Organization gets LEED Gold certification, a first for the Hashemite Kingdom. It’s like the Olympics, but in green building codes: The new Amman headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) just grabbed top kudos for green building: Certified Gold under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a world standard for green […]

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Amman’s New Mega-Mall is Antithesis of Sustainable Development

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The Taj mall in Amman, Jordan seems as current and eco-sensitive as a polyester leisure suit. Costing in excess of $170 million and with a total floor area of 150,000 square meters, Amman’s newest mega-project is located in a middle class residential area, skirted by vacant lots of grazing goats and humble concrete houses.  Access to its underground car park […]

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Jordan Green Building Council Announces Creative Design Contest

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Join a design contest and network with Jordan’s LEED-minded professionals. Sometimes a simple link with like-minded souls can jump-start connection to fascinating places. As an American architect with a strong environmental bent, recently relocated from Dublin to Amman, it’s taking some time to find my professional sea-legs in Jordan. Idle Google-ing, fueled by cups of […]

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Jordan’s Ambitious Bus Plans Get Shelved

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Announced with much fanfare, the plans to build an new bus transit in Jordan have been quietly shelved pending further review Back in early 2011, the Jordanian government announced that it would be building a new impressive bus transit aimed at reducing congestion along Amman’s busiest routes. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plans entailed operating […]

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