small scale, BIG CHANGE : Urban Acupuncture as a strategy for sustainable regeneration.
“The moment the construction of a house is finished, its life begins, but while people are living in the house it will always be under construction.”
The urban environment is constantly evolving, built by the human as a response to their needs. Built environments, thus, accurately record human achievements. Those records point at broader social issues and problems. We can say that if our actions are based on values that respect the environment, economy and society, then our cities will be sustainable; if our guiding social values are not sustainable, then our cities become unsustainable, too.
The world’s current population is 6.83 billion and is projected to grow by over a third by 2050 and reach 9.15 billion with 70% of the global population living in cities. With this increase there is the demand for the city to expand but the shift in population may also cause cities to shrink. An expanding city will arguably result in urban sprawl out onto the peripheral land. In the case of the shrinking city, the population decrease will alter the dynamic, leaving areas of the city redundant. In both cases an alteration to the population using the city will have an effect of the existing urban fabric, with an expanding city there is often a shift to new centralities resulting in downtown areas becoming superfluous. These redundant areas already have established infrastructure and are attractive sites for reoccupation, revitalizing decadent neighbourhoods.
This dissertation investigates the theory behind Urban Acupuncture as a strategy for the sustainable regeneration of the urban environment.
Chapter one will discuss the principles of Urban Acupuncture. It will look to draw comparisons between the medical application and the urban condition. Looking at how small-scale catalytic interventions can direct a sustainable development.
Examination of population trends show great disparities between the population growths in the worlds most and least developed countries. Having defined the principles, chapter two will explore the application looking critically at two case studies, Barcelona, Spain and Curitiba, Brazil. Studying how the principles have been applied to the transformation of different socio-economic, cultural, infrastructural, historical and political situations.
 Buchanan-Johnstone, S (2009) The white book, The White Book,13, p25
 Radovic, D (2009) Eco-Urbanity: towards well-mannered built environments, Routledge, Oxford, p 1
 Future Directions International (2010) World Population Trends Towards 2050 and Beyond, West Perth, Future Directions International Pty Ltd