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2019-09-12tria

URBAN ACUPUNCTURE & ART-INFOSCAPE
Analyzing and designing transformations of urban systems require a constant need to change scale for identifying efficient solutions, and in doing so it is necessary to develop the ability to focus on small points of the city, alternately intervening from above and below.
The multiscalar approach aims to preserve the advantages and potential of a detailed design perspective (bottom-up approach), on a neighbourhood scale, with those deriving from the top-down approach, commonly applied by urban planning. The view from below starts from the social base of the city, channelling the interests of the inhabitants. According to this path, the planning action makes use of listening to the population, which becomes an important cognitive-operational tool. The final objective is the recognition of the aforementioned neuralgic points of the urban fabric towards which the interventions are directed. For the definition of the nerve centres of the urban organism, reference is made to another recent field of urban planning research: urban acupuncture (some theorists are recognised in the disciplinary debate: De Sola-Morales, Jaime Lerner and Marco Casagrande, to which work we are referring to). Urban acupuncture represents a practice at ‘micro-urban planning’ scale, as it is able to act in small, localised areas where local administrations’ representation becomes the fundamental to the success of the transformation. The recognised theorists of urban acupuncture contributed to the affirmation of some operational principles applied to urban planning and design: determination of the sensitive point (De Solà-Morales, 2008), quick act and creating places (Hoogduyn, 2014). Acupuncture gives added value to spaces, in environmental and social terms, by reactivating the circulation of flows previously obstructed by functional blocks. Acupunture’s projects are generally constituted by small urban redevelopment interventions, which are opposed to large-scale interventions carried on by developers, and they can be developed in abandoned open spaces, railway stations,abandoned industrial buildings, etc.
Over the last few decades, urban art has become one of the primary aspects of the collective request for regeneration and improvement of aesthetic quality in contemporary spaces, as an element that can transform the perception of a site through the filter of the culture, creativity and artistic awareness. Street and urban art can promote positive impacts on buildings and spaces by reconfiguring their perception, with the consequent activation of a collective aesthetic consciousness and the attribution of a positive value to the creativity, as a tool for urban transformation. The artistic intervention, in fact, acts directly on the more purely material qualities of both existing building and open spaces, enhancing their perceived value. Small but focalized interventions provide a new energy for the process of planning and contribute to create an educational environment for all the inhabitants, often promoting involvement and solidarity, sustainability and creativity. In order to connect spontaneous or isolated artistic interventions, contemporary ICT could provide an effective network encompassing the physical fragmentation of places and creating the art-infoscape (Iaconesi & Persico, 2017).
TRIA, in its next two issues, aims to debate on the "multiscalar approach and urban acupuncture", therefore authors are invited to submit papers presenting their reflections and descriptions of actual experiences of urban planning and design, architecture design and new digital technologies applied to develop small scale interventions.

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