Essay On Urban Acupuncture

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Acupuncture as an Urban Medication

Cities have been perceived as a living organism from different urban designers, architects and planners. From Chinese medicine, Acupuncture is a treatment which stimulates specific points of the human body to relieve stress. In the same sense, “Urban Acupuncture” intends to relieve stress in cities. Casagrande, who is a Finnish Architect, says that urban acupuncture is an urban design tool where punctual interventions lead to the creation of sustainable development (Nora Prins, 2013).
“Manuel De Sola Morales, Spanish architect and designer, states that the location of the sensitive point is the first step in the strategic treatment of the urban skin” (Nora Prins, 2013). One should look deep into urban fabric and distinguish simple situations that give importance to the community and the ones that do not. They could be done in public spaces responding to the needs of the users to seek the correct intervention (Nora Prins, 2013). “The skin of the city has to be observed with the attention of a detective who scrutinizes the tiniest clues in its wrinkles and their apparent lack of connection” (Parsons, 2007, p.15).
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It does not necessarily need to be on a large-scale with an expensive budget. Small scale interventions can stimulate potential. The smallest effort on a specific point can be used to have the maximum good outcomes (Shidan and Qian, 2011). As an example of a small low-cost attempt of urban acupuncture in Lebanon, the Architecture Club of the USEK University designed and executed resting places where pedestrian can wait for a bus or a taxi in different areas such as Antelias and Jounieh. They are made out from recycled materials and the financing came from the club’s funding campaigns. Also it is a small attempt and regardless of the pros and cons of the design strategy, somehow it helped to regenerate the public space in these areas. (Figure
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