Submitted by Marco Casagrande

London’s Urban Acupuncture: The Urban Physic Garden

Architecture News - Dec 04, 2011 - 11:54   5645 views

THIS OLD STREET: There’s a meme I’ve been hearing in design and sustainability circles for a few years now: urban acupuncture. Despite its trendiness, I find it — and the phenomenon it describes — irresistible. The term refers to a theory (developed by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande) that melds urban design with Chinese medicine. Boiled down to a simple statement, “urban acupuncture” means focusing on small, subtle, bottom-up  interventions that harness and direct community energy in positive ways to heal urban blight and improve the cityscape. It’s meant as an alternative to large, top-down, mega-interventions that typically require heavy investments of municipal funds (which many cities at the moment simply don’t have) and the navigation of yards of bureaucratic red tape.