Pinning down Urban Acupuncture: From a Planning Practice to a Sustainable Urban Transformation Model?

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    February 2022
Urban acupuncture can be used as metaphor or heuristic. The phrase derives from traditional Chinese medicine, and refers to planning actions stimulating “the city's nervous system with tiny interventions that can have a catalytic effect on the organism as a whole” (McGuirk, 2014, 26). The popularization of urban acupuncture is largely due to discussions in international news media, online blogs, and grey research literature concerning cost-effective bottom-up initiatives associated with physical and social urban revitalization interventions (Beardsley, 2008; Kaye, 2011; Pérez López, 2017).
While acknowledging certain benefits associated with urban acupuncture, more research is needed to identify the institutional conditions and allied frameworks which are useful to supporting urban acupuncture usage. Also, research is needed as to the roles played by various actors, such as government, business, and civil society in implementing urban acupuncture approaches. To do this, the application of urban acupuncture should be improved specifically through: intentional application, documentation in peer-reviewed journals, precise usage and characterisation, and finally implementation of research studies which can effect long-term change.
Originally Published on Taylor and Francis Group Online
Authors: Jessica M. Hemingway & Alejandro De Castro Mazarro