The purpose of this study is to investigates the structure of the
traditional Amman Suq the physical, the functional, and the conceptual and to examine the spatial
morphology of the traditional Suqs of the city Amman in the light of a
descriptive theory of urban space and to argue that the structure of
traditional heritage Suqs present typological tendencies and morphological
individualities. To achieve this purpose two specific questions are addressed.
The first question is about the interplay of structure and order in the layout
of the traditional Suqs, which in turn raises questions about the visual and
functional properties of traditional built form. The second question
investigates the issue of traditional markets groupings and the kind of
relation that space has to type of trade and to social interactions.
The majority of authors on the subject of traditional
Arab Islamic Suq structure make certain assumptions, both of which are
addressed. The first is that the traditional Suqs is an outstanding example of
a fabric that has grown up organically and hence the shape and form of the
urban structure is unplanned. The second assumption is that the urban structure
corresponds to market and trade groupings, in that the traditional Suq is seen
as a collection of natural local entities.
In order to investigate these questions within the downtown
city of Amman, the urban structure of the traditional city is described and
characterised. It is suggested that the street pattern constructs an
intelligible movement interface of the configuration of the urban structure.
Changes in the interface relate to changes in social solidarity, particularly
to those which are functions of the organisation of trade within the city over
The work concludes by considering the relevance of the
findings to the issue of traditional urban structuring and social interface
within the Suq’s context.