Urban Micro-Lungs

Marka and Al-Manara districts in Amman, Jordan

The Urban Living Lab ‘Urban Micro-Lungs’ in Jordan’s capital Amman is part of the CitiesCHALLENGE 2030 and improved the quality of life in dense and deprived urban areas by creating green space. Due to the scarcity of open spaces and water in Amman in the face of increasing seasonal heavy rains, the Urban Living Lab worked with a number of innovative small-scale solutions using the Miyawaki method to create ultra-dense, highly diverse and multi-layered urban forests. These urban micro-lungs help to green the city with multiple impacts on urban heat island, air quality and storm water management.

The process was implemented with the cooperation of many different stakeholders, demonstrating the importance of multi-actor climate action. The Urban Living Lab’s vision is to create many more urban micro-lungs in Jordan in the future.

Learn more about the ‘Urban Micro-Lungs’ in Amman, Jordan.


  • WHO
Ministry of Environment and the Greater Amman Municipality, TAYYUN Research Studio.
  • WHAT
Urban Micro-Lungs is an Urban Living Lab in the East of Amman that applies the Miyawaki methodology for afforestation to create green space.
  • WHEN
July 2019 – August 2021
  • WHY
Residents in disadvantaged, dense neighbourhoods will benefit from green open space. Local biodiversity, air quality and water retention will also improve.
106 000 €

Muhammad Al-Hourani

Owner of a household goods store in Jabal Al-Manara an neighbourhood in Amman, Jordan

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Muhammad Al-Hourani: “This forest will be the first thing I look at every day, giving me the hope that the future will be better and green.”

In the past, the people of Jabal Al-Manara in the East of Jordan’s capital city Amman never expected that after a few hours of torrential rain at the beginning of each winter season, the neighborhoods they lived in would turn into swamps covered in a thick layer of squelchy mud that would last long after the rain stopped. Climate change impacts are highly visible in this usually very dry city that is not prepared for the muddy torrents resulting from heavy flash rainfall. ‘Muddy floods and high temperatures cost us hundreds of dinars in losses’, explains Muhammad Al-Hourani, the owner of a household goods store in Jabal Al-Manara. Muddy torrents frequently interrupt trading activities, damaging goods and forcing merchants to display their products inside rather than outside their shops, he adds.

Al-Hourani’s story is like those of dozens of other Al-Makara residents, where the combination of climate change effects and fast population growth transforms the city into a concrete jungle of crowded streets with no public or green spaces. But recently, hope has come to Jabal Al-Manara. Al-Hourani enthusiastically speaks about the urban micro-lung, which was implemented by GIZ and other governmental and local authorities, ‘to convert the neglected space into a green space filled with dense trees, serving as a glimmer of hope that the muddy torrents will stop, and more shade will be available to protect their shops and goods from damage in the future.’

The project has been carried out by GIZ in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, the Greater Amman Municipality, Tayyun Research Studio and the Dibbin Development Association. Together, these stakeholders planted 420 saplings of 18 plant species in the Al-Manara neighborhood. They used the Miyawaki method to cover a plot of about 135 square metres with seeds planted in the engineered soil and improved biomass.

Together with several other local merchants, Al-Hourani participated in the different cultivation stages that began many days before the start of planting trees. He describes that the feeling he experienced during the process of planting trees ‘will motivate me to be one of the guardians of the forest’ to protect it from any attack that may affect it. He will patiently wait for the urban micro-lung to grow in order to fulfil his ambition to ‘wake up every morning and open the windows of my room overlooking it. This forest will be the first thing I look at very day, giving me the hope that the future will be better and green.’

Photo gallery of the Urban Living Lab “Urban Micro-Lungs”

© GIZ Jordan

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