Parkification of Disturbed Landscapes: Uncovering the Process of Transforming Post-Industrial Sites into Urban Parks at Ruseifa, Jordan

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Virginia Tech


In 2020, following over 35 years of abandonment, the local authority of Jordan made a major decision to transform three post-industrial sites simultaneously within Ruseifa city into urban public parks, namely the Pepsi Pond site, the Phosphate Ore Hills site, and the Phosphate Old Mines and Administration Building site. These transformative processes, known as "Parkification," not only represent a significant shift in how post-industrial sites are treated but also reflect an unprecedented approach for these sites in Jordan. Therefore, this dissertation has traced and analyzed the parkification processes integral to this transformation as benchmarks for developing post-industrial sites. To unravel the parkification processes, key drivers behind parkification, and perception of stakeholders and decision-makers towards post-industrial sites in Ruseifa, three research questions were examined: 1) How do decision-makers and other development influences Ruseifa view and treat post-industrial sites in Ruseifa city? 2) What are the parkification processes transforming post-industrial sites into parks in Ruseifa? and 3) What are the compelling issues of post-industrial sites, and how do the parkification processes address them? The research employed a two-phase, multi-method qualitative approach, utilizing several data collection methods. It involved gathering secondary data, conducting site visits and case studies, and conducting semi-structured interviews with key players engaged in the parkification projects at the case study sites. Thematic and content analyses were employed, followed by comparative analysis to conceptualize and analyze the transformation processes. The findings highlighted the unique characteristics of each process, identifying three distinct parkification approaches transforming post-industrial sites in Ruseifa. Key driving factors were uncovered by examining the landscape pattern, mechanism of transformation, dynamic interactions among key players, and varying perceptions involved in the parkification processes. The findings also analyzed the parkification approaches within the decision-making processes, contextualizing them as a tool, strategy, or intention. The study's results contribute to a broader understanding of decision-making processes for developing post-industrial sites in Jordan and their transformation into public parks. It provides a framework to evaluate transformation processes on disturbed sites that can be utilized in improving post-industrial planning and preservation. Moreover, this study adds a valuable contribution to Ruseifa, documenting the transformation process of these parkification projects and shedding light on post-industrial sites and their development in Jordan.



post-industrial landscape, parkification, cultural landscape, multi-methods, decision-making process, documentation