Authors: Yahya Farhan, Sireen Al-Shawamreh
Rapid urbanization and population growth of the Amman Area were combined with land resource degradation when the city was heading for mounting urbanization from the early 1950s. The deterioration of natural resources and green areas, was coupled with the creation of different urban public open spaces in the city. The transformation from large single-family houses to dense residential apartments was associated with social and behavioral changes among the inhabitants living in the dense apartments. Consequently, a large private sector has been developed to provide public and social spaces. Photo-interpretation and satellite images were used to map and characterize land use/cover changes have been occurred in the Amman area between 1953 and 2017. Maximum Likelihood Classification method was employed to identify land use/cover changes between 1986 and 20017, and GIS was utilized also to map examples of the recently emerged socio-economic open spaces. Excessive urban development in the last two decades, and the adoption of neo-liberal privatization policies by the government, enhanced social stratification and residential segregation. So, instead of encouraging outdoor activity and social interaction among all groups of Amman residents, the freedom of accessibility to major open spaces has been restricted within the same urban fabric, thus, the “two Ammans” paradigm, a “tale of two cities”, has been recently acknowledged.
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