Urban Acupuncture is an urban environmental theory, which combines the chinese medical theory of acupuncture, with western urban design theory and was developed by Finnish architect and professor Marco Casagrande. Casagrande regards the city as a living organism, where point by point manipulation of the urban energy creates a sustainable town or city. This “new” post-industrialized city Casagrande dubs the 3rd Generation City, characterized by its “sensitive citizens who feel the calling of a sustainable co-operation with the rest of the nature, sensitive citizen who are aware of the destruction that the insensitive modem machine is causing to nature including human nature.” Mizah Rahman on Ruin Academy.
In spite of the heavy utopian, communal and spiritual approach the concept with its micro-targeting, low-cost strategies has been widely embraced by city planners and developers, who in times of deepening financial crisis have had to discard the traditional large scale projects yet still find a way to improve the urban landscape.
Islands Brygge Harbour Bath in Copenhagen. Foto: Realdania
One example of planned urban acupuncture, usually refered to as Public Space Acupuncture is the harbour of Copenhagen. Except for the functional infrastructure it provided the harbour was up until a few years back not part of Copenhagen Life. The water was cleaned up, the ferry terminal and industry relocated and a number of interventions such as the bath at Islands Brygge has effectively created a whole new activity center for the city.