The government on Sunday officially announced a national project to establish a new city, described as one of the key strategic schemes.

A government statement received by The Jordan Times said the project is a significant step aiming at providing a better lifestyle for citizens, improving services and offering residences with lower costs.

The scheme aims at accommodating part of the accelerating urban expansion of Amman and Zarqa, among other cities, and providing convenient alternatives for citizens in terms of the quality of residences, as well as alleviating pressure and overcrowding in major cities.

Part of the housing lands will be granted to cooperative societies of public employees, professional associations and military retirees’ corporation to help support middle-class citizens and their capability to own houses.

This project is part of the government’s efforts to stimulate economic growth, and is a strategic response to challenges facing the national economy through contributing to enhancing investment in national resources and assets, the statement said.

Under the plan, a new, smart and sustainable city will be built, equipped with all infrastructure services and will adopt a long-term urban planning system with a vision that leaves the door open for further future development.

The venture will be fully financed and implemented in cooperation between the public and private sectors. Developers from the private sector will rehabilitate the location and lay infrastructures under a build-operate-transfer formula with financing secured from local, regional and international financial companies and banks.

The project will be implemented in five phases. The government will first prepare studies related to strategic planning and necessary blueprints, and float tenders to implement phase-1 projects. Tenders are expected to be floated in mid next year, before promoting investment opportunities available in the project.

All phases related to establishing infrastructure and public departments and facilities will be executed under international financing tenders in cooperation with local partners, according to agreed-upon time schedules.

The strategic scheme will not be an extension of Amman or Zarqa, said the government, which expects the population of both cities to reach some 10 million people by 2050. Neither town will be able to accommodate such a population increase with the existing infrastructures, according to the statement.

The area of the first phase of the project is estimated at 39 square kilometres, representing some 10 per cent of the scheme’s total area, the government said, expecting the first stage to finish by 2030, while the whole project is planned to conclude in 2050.

The location of the project was chosen according to a “precise long-term plan that adopted modern planning methods, and took into consideration the location adjacent to Madouna land port.

The new city will be 30 kilometres away from Amman, 30km from Zarqa and 33km from the Queen Alia International Airport after a planned highway is built linking the town to the airport.

The city is also located on the international roads linking the Kingdom with Saudi Arabia and Iraq and is close to all main roads that link Amman with Zarqa.

The scheme will be established on and surrounded by state-owned lands, which will ease the process once construction starts and allow utilising state resources for the benefit of future generations.

Ministries and public departments will constitute the main pillar of the new city, where many government institutions will be transferred to the new city, while maintaining departments to present services in Amman and Zarqa.

The new city is envisioned to contribute to a “comfortable, perfect and sustainable business environment at lower costs”.

The estate will also feature entertainment areas and public parks, making it a modern, smart and environment-friendly city that is based on knowledge economy concepts, the statement said.

In addition, the new city will utilise renewable energy resources to produce clean energy and water purification, in addition to having an “advanced” transportation system that links it with Amman, Zarqa, the airport and other neighbouring cities.

The city will adopt an architectural character that reflects the Kingdom’s civilisation and history, in addition to providing green areas to serve its residents.

The scheme, the government said, reflects Jordan Vision 2025 that urges enhanced partnership between the public and private sectors, speeding up procedures to shift to e-government, and developing investment climate and business environment.

For the sake of involving people in the plan, the government will establish a website that will be an interactive platform that enables citizens to express their ideas and expectations from the new town.