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DOI

https://doi.org/10.7275/s9m3-ae66

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

Irbid City Municipality foresaw a potential for reviving its center by creating an opportunity to preserve a heritage building and to serve the location by engendering Fo'raa Square at its front. The plan was put to action in 2008, when the place was transformed from a bus station to a square to adapt to this change. It created an opportunity to absorb activities and attract the expanding city center to its direction.

The purpose of this paper is to study the square daily use and its efficiency in attracting business and pedestrians from the city center and its impact on the city expansion. This research documents change through collecting information from municipality archives; and successive interviews with the local senior residents, downtown stakeholders, and decision makers. Questionnaires consist of participation profile, social activities, and the meaning of the square for its users. Observations document patterns of static and dynamic uses in the square in accordance to surrounding land uses. Integration of space is also documented using space syntax analysis software.

The results show that, although the intention was to create a vista for pedestrians and a trigger for businesses, it acts against its intervention goals and objectives by failing to drive the city pedestrians and business towards the square. Instead, most of the square visitors are those wanting to ride on the busses at its periphery or wanting to take a short cut to reach their destinations. Very limited numbers of users occupy the space for leisure purposes or to meet others in the daytime. Its edge-type of location and the lack of active land uses are marginalizing its role as a square to the extent that it becomes a negative space at night. It is not considered a destination for shoppers or workers in the downtown. After 10 years of its establishment, it is still unknown to the majority of people shopping downtown.

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