2012 National Planning Excellence Awards: Pierre L'Enfant International Planning Award

Strategic Master Plan I Petra Region, Jordan

Petra Region, Jordan

Petra is a 6th century archaeological site and was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1968, and more recently named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World." While its tourism draw is the second largest component of the Jordanian economy, the Petra region is now facing multiple challenges, including unplanned tourism growth, environmental degradation, population growth, and limited water availability, putting the region's world heritage site status was in jeopardy.

The Jordanian government established the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority (PDTRA) that has authority over a 197,685 acre region, including the Petra Archaeological Park. A multidisciplinary team was assembled to create the Strategic Master Plan for the Petra Region.

Input was obtained from more than 400 participants including local leaders, women's groups, youth groups and local subject experts. The strategic plan includes provisions for watershed management; sets aside 93.8 percent of the region as conversation zones and open space; addresses dependencies on unsustainable tourism practices; provides opportunities for economic diversification; and proposals for managing regional transportation impacts associated with mass tourism.