Amman, Jordan, 14 September 2021 – A multi-agency United Nations project will create a safe and green public space in the Jordan Valley area to enhance the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable women.

“This project builds on the extensive and worldwide experience of the UN-Habitat in improving public space as catalyst for developing sustainable and resilient livelihoods through nurturing social cohesion between hosts and displaced communities,” said Deema Abu Thiab, the National Programme Coordinator of UN-Habitat.

“It will foster local economic development that benefits women and their families and build skills in order to enhance the empowerment and self-reliance of vulnerable communities,” she added.

The public space design comprises of safe and inclusive play areas for children of all ages and children with disabilities, shaded seating areas, and a market space which will serve as a platform for the creation of livelihood opportunities for vulnerable women.

It will include an area allocated for the implementation of sustainable agriculture methods such as permaculture and a rehabilitated and expanded multi-service community centre within the public space, which will host the different social, cultural, and capacity building activities. Such events could include tailored training on entrepreneurial skills and livelihood creation to empower women in the community to enhance their socioeconomic conditions.   

The design was developed through a participatory process that engaged the local community to ensure the development of a safe, inclusive, and accessible public space. This participatory process included community consultations throughout the design development as well as a Public Space Site-Specific Assessment, which provides guidelines to achieve quality public spaces at the neighbourhood level.

“The project aims to provide the enabling environment and tools that will assist women in Ghor Al Safi in achieving economic independence and sustainability in a safe and inclusive environment,” said Dr. Lubna Shaheen, the project manager at UN-Habitat.

The programme in Ghor Al Safi, not far from the Dead Sea, is the brainchild of a design project conducted jointly by UN-Habitat, UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) as part of “The Socio-Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Women in Ghor Al Safi through Improving Access to Safe, inclusive and Green Public Spaces.” 

To be implemented in partnership with the Zaha Cultural Centre, the overall project is funded by the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi Partner Trust Fund, and was developed in collaboration with Turath Architecture and Urban Design Consultants.

The UN Response and Recovery Fund received contributions from the Governments of Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Republic of Korea, Finland, New Zealand, Croatia, Iceland, Thailand, Slovak Republic, and Cambodia.