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Urban development projects are reshaping the future of local cities

The urbanisation wave is sweeping the globe. 4.4 billion inhabitants, which form over 56 percent of the global population, live in urban areas today. It is forecasted to expand even more. By 2045, the urban population will increase by 1.5 times amounting to 6 billion.

Urban-related challenges might vary in Cairo, Riyadh, New York, London, and Berlin, but we know one thing for sure, they have embraced urban development to the fullest with mega projects.

The New Capital project in Egypt, NEOM in Riyadh, Times Square in New York, Berlin TXL, and London Design District, are reshaping the future of these cities transforming them into people-centered, sustainable, vibrant, and globally connected ones.

Urbanism wizards such as Jan Gehl, Alejandro Aravena, and Janette Sadik-Khan are advocating for models that focus on people in addition to being socially sensitive. Jan Gehl for example recommended an influential redesign of Times Square to be a vibrant plaza with enhanced safety and livability.


Urban development projects aim to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of people living and working in urban areas. This could be done by enhancing the conditions for economic growth, innovation, and competitiveness and addressing the social and environmental impacts of urbanisation.

The New Capital Project in Egypt underscores the goal of creating a sustainable and technologically advanced “Smart City of Tomorrow”, while NEOM came to light to prioritise people and nature, through creating a sustainable living, and working model.

In Berlin, the TXL project is geared toward solving the housing problem. Therefore, it will put 5,000 new homes and a sustainability-focused industrial park on the site of the defunct Tegel Airport.

London is no different. To overcome being an extremely expensive city, the London Design District building was founded to build an area full of affordable workspaces.

These projects are redefining urbanism and indicate that connection is not only mirrored in these cities being connected on the global level but also in the urban designers’ vision to generate growth through adopting this people-focused approach.


The growth that urban development projects aim to generate could be measured by numbers and milestones. Multiple factors play a pivotal role here, as the economy of every city encompasses various components, thus specific goals need to be achieved considering the unified global urban trends.

In Jordan, the rural population has remained at the same low level for the past 70 years and the urban population outnumbered its rural one for the first time in 1960 and it is increasing exponentially. Aligning with this, urban development projects focus on improving urban living by tailoring the design of residential and commercial spaces to suit the needs of residents, expats, and employees. The importance of these projects lies in their role in delivering architectural masterpieces coupled with business hubs that offer endless possibilities.

Amidst these local, regional, and global contexts, The Abdali emerged as a blueprint for contemporary urban advancement not only in Jordan but also in the Middle East. It is located at the heart of Amman and represents the increasing momentum that Jordan is gaining on numerous levels namely technology, tourism, and business development.

If we talk numbers, over 500 companies and 15,000 employees, are joining the momentum that has already started as international companies from different sectors such as telecommunication, Electronics, Technology, Pharmaceutical, and global retail brands have established their headquarters or regional offices in The Abdali, recognising the potential for growth and success in this thriving business district. Companies include for example Amazon, Seimenes Energy, and Orange Telecom.

Aligning with the global trends, urban development projects are meant to offer opportunities to urban residents to be part of the global hype, global events and exhibitions thanks to the conferencing services and meeting facilities. The result will be an increase in tourism revenue, job creation in the hospitality sector, and promotion of Amman as a premier destination for both leisure and business travellers.

The success of urban development projects of this magnitude lies in the fact that they serve as a beacon of economic modernisation, by attracting new investment opportunities including land acquisitions, real estate investment trust (REIT), and acquiring multinational corporations into its ecosystem. With this contribution, The Abdali and similar urban development projects in the MENA region, are transforming the region’s socio-economic landscape. In this context, it is vital to emphasise on this pivotal role which leads to economic development, job creation, and urban resurgence.

Based on all that, it’s imperative to continuously improve and build on current success, by leveraging advancements, adopting smart cities approach and developing sustainability strategies.

In conclusion, urban development projects are reshaping the future of the local cities, which contributes in turn to the urbanism scene on the regional and global levels. By milestones and numbers, Amman is joining the global momentum of being a sustainable, globally connected, culturally vibrant, people-centered, and growth-driven city.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Amer Al Fayez

Quelle/Source: Arabian Business, 27.06.2024

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