Jordan Amman
Social and Economic Equity

“Amman is Listening” – Bloomberg Philantropies Global Mayors Challenge and Amman Municipality


Amman Municipality

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Around half the world's population currently lives in cities, and by 2050 this proportion is expected to rise to 55%. Thanks to their specific skills, cities play a crucial role in the development and deployment of public policies adapted to the challenges of climate change and crises, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is to accelerate and encourage innovation by cities that Bloomberg Philantropies, a foundation created by Michael R. Bloomberg (former mayor of New York), has decided to set up a fund. Bloomberg (former mayor of New York between 2002 and 2013) in 2006, launched the Mayors Challenge. The aim of this programme, which takes the form of a call for projects, is to provide US$1m in funding and technical support for innovative and replicable initiatives led by cities to tackle structural problems.

After four initial editions with a geographical focus (United States in 2013 and 2018, Europe in 2014 and Latin America in 2016), Bloomberg Philantropies has organised the first Global Mayors Challenge in 2021 to identify and promote ideas to help cities build their resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 15 winning municipalities in 2021-2022, representing more than 30 million citizens, are : Amman (Jordan), Bogotá (Colombia), Butuan (Philippines), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Hermosillo (Mexico), Istanbul (Turkey), Kigali (Rwanda), Kumasi (Ghana), Paterson (United States), Phoenix (United States), Rochester (United States), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Rourkela (India), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Wellington (New Zealand). 631 municipalities from 99 countries took part.

The project

The municipality of Amman was chosen as the winner for its "Amman is Listening" project, which aims to improve access to infrastructure and services for its citizens.

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a metropolis of 4 million people, home to 40% of the country's population. The city experienced sustained urbanisation and demographic growth in the second half of the 20th century, resulting in the emergence of densely populated informal settlements, poor access to basic services in some areas, and numerous congested traffic zones. This situation prevented the authorities from providing seamless access to health care and basic necessities, including government-led home delivery of food, to all neighbourhoods and communities during the containment periods of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the start of the lockdown (18 March 2020), the Municipality of Amman conducted a field survey to map areas with reduced access to local services, and surveyed residents about their access to basic services. This action was then transformed into the Amman is Listening project.

The Amman is Listening project addresses the lack of information and accessibility to certain services in the event of future crises (health crisis, natural disaster, etc.). It takes the form of an interactive online platform with 'Accessibility Maps' for each district, showcasing the infrastructure and services available (public facilities, supermarkets, etc.) as well as essential information in the event of a major event (blocked roads, evacuation plan, etc.). The aim is to promote local solutions, local products, green spaces and pedestrian areas, with a view to autonomy and sustainability, so that every resident of Amman has access to all essential services in less than 20 minutes.

This project focuses on citizen participation: residents will be able to report and correct information. The idea is to create a virtuous circle: by receiving information directly from citizens, policymakers can make better decisions and better target investments, making the city more pleasant for residents and more resilient. The maps should also enable authorities to better identify vulnerable areas in the event of a crisis.


This project is part of the city team's 5-year smart city roadmap. At the beginning of 2022, the test phase of the accessibility maps should take place 18 months after the start of the project. These maps will be displayed in the most frequented public places and neighbourhood centres.

Little extra

The local authority has called on architecture students to map the city's neighbourhoods. A good way to promote civic participation among young people (under 30), who make up 63% of the country's population!

This initiative sheet was written by Lucas De Bastiani, a Let's Food volunteer in August 2023.

Last modification : 21 Dec 2023.

Amman Municipality

The Municipality of Amman won the award for its 'Amman is Listening' project, which aims to improve access to infrastructure and services for its citizens. It aims to overcome the lack of information and access to certain services in the event of future crises (health crises, natural disasters, etc.).


Ahmad Zeyad
Coordinateur principal du projet “Amman is Listening”