Mainstreaming Local Economic Development into Jordan's National Urban Policy Thematic Guide
Jordan’s urban economic sector currently faces several challenges. For example, the majority of Jordan’s economic activity is concentrated in Amman, resulting in urbanization without economic growth in other areas, high unemployment rates, limited job opportunities, and, accordingly, increasing poverty rates. Moreover, Jordan municipalities have suffered from structural financial issues since the 1990’s. Most of them are underfunded and chronically indebted, with their revenue collection not covering the necessary expenses for service delivery. Additionally, the influx of refugees has increased the pressure on municipal services.
The integration between LED and spatial planning contributes to shaping the economic spatial system in regions and cities as well as to the optimal investment of natural and human resources, achieving greater economic and social effectiveness. Accordingly, mainstreaming LED into the Jordan National Urban Policy (JNUP) will increase the economic capabilities of Jordan, link the economic development performance in the Governorates with their competitive advantages, and support the growth of economic sectors in an integrated manner based on value-added chains. This will additionally enhance urban-rural linkages through the integration of production and the flow of raw materials and intermediate goods between the areas as well as through supporting marketing for community production through mega markets, especially in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It will also work to enhance the capacities of municipalities in terms of human, financial, and technical resources.
Therefore, this guide presents 10 recommendations that are meant to provide guidance on how to mainstream LED into the JNUP based on the country’s specific LED priorities and local context.