Amman rooftoop billboards are coming DOWN! WHOOOOHOOOOO!

This is the disease..

Amman's billboard disease

Out-of-control, badly designed, tasteless retarded commercialism covering the facade of every commercial building in Amman.

But now, the disease is beginning to get ERADICATED.. Witness the cleaning up of Amman’s facades..

Billboards coming down on 6th circle
Cranes on the sixth circle removing the supersized rooftops.
Billboards stripped in Mecca Street
Mecca street: stripping the rooftops down in preparation for removal.

Billboards coming down in Mecca Street
Mecca street: yes, even large shop signs have to go..

Cleaning a facade in Shmeisani
Shmeisani: The last sign on this building is going down…

So.. It’s finally happening. Amman’s skylines and facades are beginning to get cleaned up. If you are used to seeing big ads when you stop at some of western Amman’s intersections, you’ll notice that your glance will now meet.. the sky!

I’ve seen the hilariously depressing reactions in some newspaper articles.. It is amazing how some writers (and regular people too) are defending Amman visual junk as part of “our beloved city’s character”. They are afraid that Amman will look “boring” and naked.

Well, why don’t those geniuses suggest more good public art or children murals in the city? Or are ads for soft drinks and cellphones the only visual culture those people understand?

The doctors even wanted to go on strike because the municipality wanted to remove their “newspapers” from the walls of Khalidi street. I heard that the municipality has given in to their demands to keep their chaotic signs. I hope this isn’t true.

What is wrong with those people? Do they think that people will not “find them” if their precious sign isn’t on the building.

HELLLOOOOO!!

The municipality is putting big numbers on every building. It is time we joined the civilized world and started giving addresses using street names and numbers.

As for the billboards, well, the municipality seems to be allowing new unipole billboards on some main street intersections and some empty walls on sides of hills and buildings. So don’t worry people, we will still have a vibrant outdoor ad industry.

Some people like to criticize these measures as “cosmetic”. But they forget that the municipality, for the first time, is working on a comprehensive plan and land use policy for Amman, and that it has introduced urban design measures that might have saved Amman from what seemed to be an uncontrollable attack of skyscrapers.

Wherever we look, we see Arab cities drowning in tastelessness, chaos and a layer of grime. What is resulting is NOT some charming bazaar image, but a bastard mix of commercialism and lack of good craftsmanship.

It’s good that Amman has found it in itself to resist this ugliness and imagine a more civilized future for itself.

Down with ugliness..


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11 Responses to “Amman rooftoop billboards are coming DOWN! WHOOOOHOOOOO!”

  1. Qwaider قويدر Says:

    I’m curious to know what does the law say? Is it against all signs? doesn’t prohibit signs only in residential areas? or does this include the down town?

  2. Roba Says:

    That’s awesome. Next step, make it compulsory to clean the stone facades at least once every 5 years.

  3. Khalidah Says:

    Finally

    Not only were they ugly, but also the majority of them were bad commercials or these over-sized signs as if we can’t see the normal ones … I say: thank God they finally realized it was not making our city beautiful :)

  4. Mude Says:

    This is great news, but it doesn’t go far enough. The hideous signage (or as you more accurately put it, “newspapers”) on the facades of buildings—especially along Khalidi St. & Gardens St.—simply has to go. Use the pretty new street numbers, people!

    The standard line on Amman is that it’s “one of the most beautiful cities in the Arab world,” but after 4+ years here, I disagree. However, there is hope.

  5. Dave Says:

    I’m loving this. I saw some guys pulling down a billboard on Wadi Saqra the other night.

  6. Moey Says:

    a7san a7san

  7. Atallah Says:

    This is a conspiracy against our Jordanian heritage! What next, prohibiting contractors from piling sand and other building materials on public space? Enforcing traffic laws of proper parking, using lanes, stop signs and use of turning signals? I’m afraid there will be a day that people will be fined for littering!

  8. Humeid Says:

    Atallah..

    You are right.. LOL!

    This is destroying our way of life.. :)

  9. Ahmad Mousa Says:

    Humeid, reading your posts brings a smile to my face. Your blog is always a refreshing window on Amman while I am away.
    Thank you.
    P.S. Why can’t we have more Ammani’s that share your views?

  10. abu tubaish Says:

    please inforce the same laws in irbid , it is time for us all to make sure that our cities look half decent .
    always wonder what will triger peoples mind to make them care about all of their sorounding after all we are humans with good taste not a hurd of sheeps

  11. And Far Away » Visual Spam Says:

    [...] With the government’s recent initiative to cut down on visual pollution in Amman, a new visual trend, aided by the increase of expenditure on advertising, is starting to surface; visual spam. [...]

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