Jordan plans new city near Amman to ease overcrowding
Jordan has announced plans to build a new city east of the capital Amman to ease overcrowding and traffic congestion.
Touted as "environmentally friendly, sustainable and smart", the new city would be built on a major highway that links Jordan to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The project will be built around 30 kilometres east of Amman and is part of a government drive to attract long-term investment and stimulate the economy, the government said on Sunday.
The new city aims to provide "drastic solutions to rising population density and traffic congestion" in Amman and the north-eastern city of Zarqa and would invest in "clean and renewable sources of energy and water treatment" as well as provide affordable housing.
Amman is home to four million people while 1.3 million make up the population of Zarqa and, according to the statement, their combined populations are due to reach 10 million by 2050.
The new city will be built in five phases with the first one ready by 2030 and last expected to be completed in 2050.
"State institutions and ministries will be moved to the new city throughout the project's various stages", the government statement added.
The desert Kingdom is devoid of natural resources and has been affected by wars in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, with millions of refugees from both countries seeking haven in Jordan.
The United Nations says Jordan is hosting more than 650,000 refugees from Syria alone, while the kingdom puts their number at 1.4 million.
Last month, Jordan said that hosting refugees had cost the kingdom more than $10 billion since 2011.