Empirical analysis of the impacts of the refugee influxes on Amman urban characteristics

Dana Hamdan*, Antonino Di Raimo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In 2020, more than 80 million people have been recognized as forcibly displaced, and Refugees represent about 35% of that. Jordan has one of the highest number of refugees in relation to its population, which is due to multiple influxes of refugees to the country since the late 19th C until today. These people settle either in refugee camps or in urban areas. The sudden mass migration to the capital city Amman has caused massive pressure on the city’s infrastructures and urban fabrics and resulted in uncontrolled urban expansion. Meanwhile, refugee camps in the city and in several other areas have outlived the crisis that produced them and have turned into urban areas with substandard living conditions. They are often excluded from all development plans. The poor/lack of planning policies which were developed by foreign consultants, have led to unbalanced concentration of investment between the newer and older parts of the city, and the densification of informal settlements in eastern Amman. Current research mainly discusses the urban expansion in Amman from Satellite perspective and quantitative population growth, with little understanding of the street level of these urban changes. Therefore, this research analysis the impact of the refugee crisis on the urban characteristics of Amman. First, five neighborhoods have been identified as examples of areas that developed post-every refugee movement. These areas are: The historic town (19th and early 20th C), Al Wehdat camp (established in 1955), Al Ashrafeyeh (1950s–1960s), Al Rawabi (1970s–1980s), and Khalda (1994 –Now). Second, empirical observation through site visits is used to analyze and compare the urban characteristics of each of these neighborhoods. The findings of this research provide insights into the urban trends in Amman, which can be used to assist effective future planning policies, as well as assist further research on the environmental quality of different urban typologies. The theoretical implications add to the body of research on relationship between immigration and urban production.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding Resilient and Healthy Cities: A Guide to Environmental Sustainability and Well-being (Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation).
EditorsAnna Laura Pisello, Ilaria Pigliautile, Stephen Siu Yu Lau, Nancy M. Clark
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)9783031338632
ISBN (Print)9783031338656
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024
EventHealth & Environmental Resilience and Livability in Cities - The challenge of climate change: HERL 2022 - Perugia, Italy
Duration: 20 Jan 202221 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology & Innovation
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISSN (Print)2522-8714
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8722


ConferenceHealth & Environmental Resilience and Livability in Cities - The challenge of climate change


  • Informal settlements
  • morphology
  • urbanization
  • urban human-scale
  • migration
  • heritage mobility

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