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Re-locating the identity of Amman’s city through the hybridization process

Ahamd A. Alhusban (Department of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, the Hashemite Univesity, Zarqa, Jordan)
Safa A. Alhusban (Department of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Al al Bayt University, Al Mafraq, Jordan)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 9 July 2020

Issue publication date: 28 May 2021

190

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define the identity, city identity and architectural identity; to review, analyze and synthesize different pieces from literature to explore and define the factors that shape the city identity; to define the strategies of hybridization process that can be used to re-locate (re-define) the city identity; to examine the most effective factors that shape the identity of Amman city from various perspectives, to examine the relationships/interrelationships between all the factors that shape any city identity from the designers’ perspective, finally, to apply the strategies of hybridization process to re-locate (re-define) Amman’s city identity.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used two research methods to collect data as follows: literature review, content analysis and face-face questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the most effective factors that shape the Amman’s identity from different perspectives. The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (Pearson r) was computed to assess the relationships between all factors that shape the identity of any city from the perspective of Jordanian designers and experts.

Findings

This research concluded that the factors that shape the city identity are cultural factors (socio-cultural, historical, economical and globalization factors), environmental factors (geographic, climate and building materials factors) and urban and architectural factors (spatial design organization, architectural style, open spaces and parks, urban structure factors). Additionally, the six urban development factors that responsible for the hybridization process in a city are new architectural typology and new special configuration, urban edges and hybrid textures, public hybridization open spaces, roads highway-scapes, urban redevelopment through super sites by star architects and downtown urban developments. This research found that there are different perspectives about the definition and factors that shape the identity of Amman’s city because of differences in cultures, experiences, knowledge, education level and personal preferences. The city identity is not a constant concept. It is changed according to time, place, people, culture, global trends, economic status and experience. Moreover, the correlation results revealed that the relationships/interrelationships between all the factors that shape the identity of any city have strong/very strong positive linear associations and significant relationships (r > 0.89).

Practical implications

Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) should provide a vision to redefine the identity of Amman city and control over the development pressure, built form and image of the city. This vision should be based on research, analysis and adoption of the most effective road map. GAM and all stakeholders should establish and enforce using specific architectural styles, urban design guidelines, building codes, policy tools and land use regulations to re-define the city identity. GAM should review, assess, approve and supervise all development projects through all design and construction phases especially in sensitive areas. GAM should focus on building capacity, empower its architects and planners, and re-organize (re-structure) their units and administrations especially planning and licensing departments to improve the city image and guide development. This research recommended that architects should design new, diverse and innovative architectural concepts, typologies and spatial configurations. Rapid development and new edges should be planned, designed and managed from the parts to the whole. The heterogeneous landscape and everyday activities will improve the vitality of urban and open public spaces and form of public culture. Architects and star architects ought not to make a clear and sharp separation between old and new development, architectural styles and typologies. Architects and urban designers ought to design hybrid physical urban environments, urban morphology, urban multi-functional activities, mix-use buildings, open spaces for social life, street patterns and furniture, squares, architectural style and typologies, spatial connectivity, green spaces and landscape entities. The designers and planners should consider how to create a city for living, working and recreation.

Originality/value

This research defined the identity, city identity, architectural identity and the factors that may shape the city identities. This research proposed and used the hybridization process as a tool to re-locate (re-define) the identity of Amman city and any city to be more obvious. Additionally, this research examined the relationships/interrelationships between the factors that shape the city identity.

Keywords

Citation

Alhusban, A.A. and Alhusban, S.A. (2021), "Re-locating the identity of Amman’s city through the hybridization process", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 81-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-07-2019-0066

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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