During 2008, CSBE continued working on its previous projects, including those of IDARA and MED-ENEC. CSBE also initiated new activities, primarily the Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design in collaboration with regional architecture and engineering firm Omrania and Associates, as well as two professional courses in association with the Jordanian A/E Business Council. Regarding staff, Lara Zureikat spent an academic term as a research fellow at Harvard University, and Dalia al-Husseini rejoined CSBE after completing her master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Instituting Water Demand Management in Jordan (IDARA)
CSBE continued its participation in IDARA, the four-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project that is being carried out in association with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to implement a program on water demand management in Jordan. During 2008, CSBE completed a public perception survey on park design in Jordan's governorates and designed a municipal training program on water-conserving park design, which included a training of trainers (ToT) component and covered 46 municipalities. CSBE also completed an assessment of municipal nurseries and developed a business plan for them. Another component of CSBE's participation in the project was to conduct an assessment of the parks developed by the previous USAID WEPIA water demand management project - in which CSBE also participated - in order to identify further needs for those parks and to develop the necessary assistance plans for them. In addition, CSBE developed a Best Management Practice (BMP) guide on water efficiency for public parks in conjunction with the Greater Amman Municipality, and designed a water-conserving demonstration garden for the Jordan Water Company - Miyahuna head office in Amman.
Energy-Conserving Buildings (European Union, MED-ENEC)
CSBE continued to provide dissemination assistance in connection with the energy-efficient demonstration house being constructed in Aqaba as part of the European Union-funded MED-ENEC program. CSBE had been involved in the conception, design, and construction of the house. During 2008, CSBE focused on producing educational and awareness-raising material for the house, and on presenting the building concept to a wider audience through workshops and conferences. We produced a brochure to introduce the project and its technologies, published several articles in local newspapers and magazines, and hosted a one-day tour of the project for interested parties. Construction on the house was begun in 2007, with support from the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), and it is scheduled for completion in 2009.
CSBE organized in Aqaba in 2007 a regional experts meeting on graywater reuse in association with the Canadian International Development and Research Centre (IDRC). In 2008, we began to follow up with the presenters at the meeting to develop their papers into chapters suitable for publication in a book. Significant follow up and editing on the draft chapters was carried out, and the book is due to be published in early 2010 by the British publisher Practical Action Publishing.
Children's Museum Botanic Garden
CSBE was commissioned to prepare designs for an educational botanic garden at the Children's Museum in the King Hussein Park in Amman. A concept design was submitted to the museum for approval.
Courses for the Jordanian A/E Building Council
CSBE developed and implemented two training courses for the Jordanian A/E Building Council. The first was on sustainable design, led by Hans Rosenlund of the Department of Architecture and Built Design at Lund University of Sweden; and the second was on proposal writing, led by Natheer Abu Obeid of the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. Because of high demand, the latter course was given twice.
The Diwan al-Mimar series, the architectural forum that CSBE initiated in 2000, continued in 2008 with presentations by Khaled Burgan of the Greater Amman Municipality and Ihab Ammarin of the Ministry of Tourism on tourism planning in Amman; the renown Jordanian novelist Samiha Khrais on Amman through the eyes of a novelist; Jonathan Lane of Boston-based ICON Architecture on heritage resources; and John Van Nostrand of Toronto-based Planning Alliance on the Greater Amman Master Plan.
Public Lecture Series
CSBE held two public lectures in 2008. The first was by Lebanese architect and artist Nadim Karam, who presented a number of his urban public art works. The second was by Egyptian architect and conservator Tariq al Murri of the Historic Cairo Conservation Project, who gave a presentation on the conservation of historic monuments in Cairo.
Public Spaces Research Project
CSBE continued its project of mapping how public spaces in Amman are used, and presented its findings to the Mayor of Amman. During 2008, our Associate Director, Lara Zureikat, was awarded a six-month research fellowship at Harvard University to further pursue research related to this project.
The Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design
In 2008, CSBE initiated an award for architectural graduation projects in conjunction with the regional architectural and engineering firm Omrania and Associates. The Award was open to final-year students of architecture from Jordanian universities. An independent jury assessed the submitted projects and selected the winning entries, which were announced at the Award ceremony and exhibition held at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in October 2008. Funding for the Award was covered jointly by Omrania and CSBE, with additional support provided by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
CSBE's Associate Director, Lara Zureikat, was awarded a six-month research fellowship at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design to explore issues of urbanism in relation to Amman. She accordingly spent the second half of 2008 at Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States.
Dalia al-Husseini returned to CSBE after completing her master's degree in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a Fulbright scholarship. She rejoined CSBE in January and has primarily worked on the IDARA water demand management project.
CSBE's main source of income for 2008 was the IDARA project. Total income, however, was not sufficient to cover CSBE's expenses, which included implementing a significant number of self-funded and co-funded projects, primarily Diwan al-Mimar, the public lecture series, the public spaces research project, the Omrania | CSBE Student Award, as well as the update and maintenance of the CSBE web site.
CSBE continues to function on a limited budget. Its operating expenses for 2008 amounted to 116,078 JD (about 162,000 USD) and revenues amounted to 91,068 JD (about 127,000 USD). The resulting deficit of 25,010 JD (about 35,000) was covered from previous year surpluses.
Obeidat and Freihat Attorneys & Counselors at Law continued to provide legal counseling to CSBE on a pro bono basis. Also, Mohammad al-Asad continued to offer a considerable amount of unpaid work to CSBE in the capacity of Senior Advisor. CSBE is grateful for their support.
Finally, a special thank you is due to the CSBE staff and to the members of the board of directors for all the efforts they made in making 2008 a successful year for the Center.