A sustainable land use plan for undeveloped land

Amman uses expert technical and legal advice to create a strategy for project management and community planning


At a dialogue event on intermunicipal land management at the end of 2020, the idea had arisen to support Greater Amman Municipality in drawing up a community plan for a largely undeveloped area. To this end, Jordanian and German experts began an intensive exchange at the end of 2021.

Initial Situation

The virtual dialogue event 'Sustainable and resilient, regional and intermunicipal land management' took place in November 2020. There, delegates from cities in several countries shared the lessons they had learned on developing and implementing approaches to sustainable land use and viable forms of land management.

At the event, Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) expressed its interest in receiving more in-depth advice on developing a community plan for the Al Dafyaneh area. GAM found it especially important to take sustainability issues into account, and to improve cooperation between the government, the private sector, development partners and citizens. Additionally, they would like to learn about good practice examples for participatory approaches, legal frameworks on landownerships and project management processes for the development of community plans.

Learning Experience

At the dialogue event, participants discussed which sectoral uses can be permanently developed and implemented in which areas, taking into account the criteria for environmental, economic and social sustainability. They discussed how sustainability, climate change and resilience requirements can be incorporated into sustainable land use strategies, land use plans and binding development plans. It is not uncommon for municipal experts to face conflicting goals and conflicts of interest that are difficult to resolve.

Project Ideas

In a pilot project, Amman intends to create a Al Dafyaneh community plan that will serve as a blueprint for other areas in Greater Amman.

To this end, representatives of GAM were provided with comprehensive advice by two German experts during two virtual meetings at the end of 2021. Based on specific examples, they were able to see how German municipalities approach community planning.

For further in-depth consultation on concrete community planning in Amman, an expert in-person mission is planned for June 2022.

Furthermore, a study tour by the Jordanian experts to Germany is planned for August. The aim will be to present to the Jordanian partners good practice examples and the latest scientific findings from Germany, and discuss these with them.


In November 2021, Connective Cities organised a virtual expert mission with 17 Jordanian experts from the fields of architecture, urban planning and geo-information systems, as well as two German experts in urban development planning and urban surveying. The German experts presented some examples from their municipal practice to the Jordanian participants. This included the planning process for transforming the Munich factory district from an industrial wasteland into a residential area.

The first virtual expert mission with Amman showed that in order to implement its community plan, GAM needs to gain even greater clarity regarding the legal aspects of its relationship with landowners. The municipality discovered that the German Building Code regulates, among other things, citizen participation, the form of urban development contracts, the rezoning of land, and expropriation and compensation.

It also gained an understanding of how, in the course of land tenure or allocation systems, rezoning land is an effective, efficient and economical pathway for urban development and redevelopment.

After the relevant Jordanian and German legal texts and building land regulations had been translated and shared, the actors involved analysed these legal rules and regulations at a second virtual meeting in December 2021. Afterwards, the head of the local planning department presented the current analyses on the Al Dafyaneh development area. The German experts then drew up a recommendation for the Al Dafyaneh community plan, which was designed to make it easier for GAM to deal with the landowners.


As a result of the consultation, GAM now has a better understanding of the different approaches to land use planning. It therefore intends to set up a task force for community planning.

Since GAM has to plan and implement long-term and large projects with a very small team, it wishes to improve its project management structures. It also wants to share information with German partners on sustainability standards that are already applied in German land use plans.

The various offices within the municipality will work more closely together in future and face up to their greatest challenge in land use planning: Enhance the participatory approach in the planning process.

Furthermore, GAM wishes to devote itself to a municipal ordinance and the drafting of a basic contract with landowners before tackling other challenges, such as the fragmented ownership landscape and the hilly topography.

GAM is also interested in learning more about German standards in the field of sustainable and socially fair land use planning. To this end, they will be invited by Connective Cities to undertake a fact-finding mission to discuss details with German experts in the field. 



Reham Bataineh

Head of Local Plans Division - Comprehensive Planning Department

Greater Amman Municipality

Email: rehambataineh(at)gmail.com


Categories: Connective Cities Good Urban Governance Land Management Urban management and administration
Regions: Middle East Jordan Amman


Related Good Practices

Related Events