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‘Urban acupuncture’ to alleviate stress in informal settlements in Mexico

‘Urban acupuncture’ to alleviate stress in informal settlements in Mexico This paper explores whether smaller-scale physical space interventions (‘urban acupuncture’) have the power to alleviate the stress, social pathologies and political disengagement experienced by the residents of informal settlements. The case study is Tepito, a barrio in Mexico City. The results, based on 20 qualitative interviews with local residents, support the idea that an ‘urban acupuncture’ approach has a high potential in this respect. In view of these findings, the authors argue that an indirect approach, focused on physical space, might, at least in the short term, be more productive in empowering of informal settlement dwellers than direct efforts at political organization. Physical, economic and political spaces are intrinsically linked. Little political engagement can be expected if people live in poor physical environments. While certainly not a panacea, acupunctural interventions might trigger much broader changes than initially intended. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Urban Design Taylor & Francis

‘Urban acupuncture’ to alleviate stress in informal settlements in Mexico

Journal of Urban Design , Volume 23 (5): 14 – Sep 3, 2018

‘Urban acupuncture’ to alleviate stress in informal settlements in Mexico

Journal of Urban Design , Volume 23 (5): 14 – Sep 3, 2018

Abstract

This paper explores whether smaller-scale physical space interventions (‘urban acupuncture’) have the power to alleviate the stress, social pathologies and political disengagement experienced by the residents of informal settlements. The case study is Tepito, a barrio in Mexico City. The results, based on 20 qualitative interviews with local residents, support the idea that an ‘urban acupuncture’ approach has a high potential in this respect. In view of these findings, the authors argue that an indirect approach, focused on physical space, might, at least in the short term, be more productive in empowering of informal settlement dwellers than direct efforts at political organization. Physical, economic and political spaces are intrinsically linked. Little political engagement can be expected if people live in poor physical environments. While certainly not a panacea, acupunctural interventions might trigger much broader changes than initially intended.

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References (48)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1469-9664
eISSN
1357-4809
DOI
10.1080/13574809.2018.1429902
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores whether smaller-scale physical space interventions (‘urban acupuncture’) have the power to alleviate the stress, social pathologies and political disengagement experienced by the residents of informal settlements. The case study is Tepito, a barrio in Mexico City. The results, based on 20 qualitative interviews with local residents, support the idea that an ‘urban acupuncture’ approach has a high potential in this respect. In view of these findings, the authors argue that an indirect approach, focused on physical space, might, at least in the short term, be more productive in empowering of informal settlement dwellers than direct efforts at political organization. Physical, economic and political spaces are intrinsically linked. Little political engagement can be expected if people live in poor physical environments. While certainly not a panacea, acupunctural interventions might trigger much broader changes than initially intended.

Journal

Journal of Urban DesignTaylor & Francis

Published: Sep 3, 2018

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