During 2010, CSBE continued working on its existing projects, particularly IDARA. CSBE also completed the third cycle of the Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design.
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. CSBE provided technical assistance to the municipalities of Deir 'Alla, Azraq, and 'Ardah in the design of water-wise parks. CSBE also assisted these municipalities in implementing the parks through the IDARA project's grant program.
In conjunction with experts from the University of Arizona in Tucson, CSBE developed a course module on water-conserving landscapes for the landscape architecture course at the Jordan University for Science and Technology (JUST). CSBE also held a half-day training seminar on water-wise landscaping at the Greater Amman Municipality. Thirty employees from the Gardens Department participated.
In addition, CSBE assisted a private nursery in the design of a model water-wise plant display at its Amman showroom.
Moreover, CSBE launched the Abu Alanda Apartments Competition for the design of a water- and energy-efficient low-cost apartment building. The competition was organized in collaboration with the Jordan Engineers association (JEA) and the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC). A jury consisting of four Jordanian architects and a faculty member from the University of Arizona assessed the competition entries and selected three winners.
The Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design
In 2008, CSBE initiated an award for Jordanian architectural graduation projects in conjunction with the regional architectural and engineering firm Omrania and Associates. In 2009, the Award’s reach was expanded to include graduation projects from universities throughout the Arab world. For the 2010 cycle, 82 entries were received from nine Arab countries. An independent three-member jury assessed the submitted projects and selected the winning entries. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture kindly supported the participation of one of the jury members. The jury awarded five equal prizes of 2,000 USD each to entries from Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.
An Award ceremony for the 2010 cycle was held at the Art Centre in Manama, Bahrain. The ceremony was accompanied by an exhibition of the winning entries for this and the past cycles as well as a selection of projects submitted for the current cycle. Similar exhibitions have been planned for 2011 at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, the American University of Beirut, the Academie Lebanaise des Beaux Arts, and the American University of Sharjah. The Award aims at holding an event celebrating the accomplishments of the winning students at their universities.
CSBE was supported by the Canadian International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) to publish a book based on a workshop that CSBE and IDRC organized in Aqaba in 2007 on graywater use. During 2009, the papers were received and edited, and additional book chapters were developed. The final manuscript was accepted by the United Kingdom-based publishers, Practical Action Publishing, and was published in 2010. The book is co-edited by CSBE director Stephen McIlwaine and Mark Redwood of IDRC.
Jabal Qala’a Park Design Project
CSBE was invited by the community-based social activism group Hamzet Wasel to assist with developing a children’s park in the Jabal Qala’a neighborhood. This involved a series of workshops and charrettes with the neighborhood children in order to come up with a water-efficient children-led park design. The park includes terraces, a multipurpose room, a playground, and a small water feature, in addition to water-conserving plants. The design phase has been completed, but project implementation is on hold pending funding from the Greater Amman Municipality.
Stephen McIlwaine stepped down from the position of Director to devote his time to consulting in environmental issues.
CSBE’s main source of income for 2010 remained the IDARA project. Omrania and Associates also provided CSBE with financial support for its implementation of the CSBE | Omrania Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design. The total income, however, was not sufficient to cover CSBE’s expenses.
CSBE continues to function on a limited budget. Its operating expenses for 2010 amounted to about 88,274 JD while revenues amounted to about 84,738 JD. The resulting deficit of 3,536 JD was covered from previous-year surpluses (note: 1 JD = 1.41 USD).
Obeidat and Freihat Attorneys & Counsellors at Law continued to provide legal counselling 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 2010 a successful year for the Center.