Integrated environmental management of SmAL Green Spots in FUncTional Urban ArEas

The main goal of the SALUTE4CE (SALUTE for Central Europe) project was to protect and develop natural resources using integrated environmental management of green and blue infrastructure in Functional Urban Areas (FUA’s).


It is a challenge for many European cities to dedicate large land areas toward green space usage. Nevertheless, the need for benefits that ecosystem services provide still persist. The SALUTE4CE project offers a potential solution to urban areas where it is not possible to preserve large open spaces as green areas, but rather many small spots (0.2 hectares or less). Urban Environmental Acupuncture (UEA) provides the prospective of improving the urban fabric by increasing the availability and prevalence of green space. It is argued that many small interventions can improve access to ecosystem services in FUA’s. Small green spots offer a source of biodiversity, may aid in climate change adaptation, and provide recreational and respite opportunities for city dwellers among other benefits.

Objective (s)

The project was intended to contribute to the strengthening of green infrastructure in European cities. In particular, the action planning guideline demonstrates the application of Urban Environmental Acupuncture as an effective and innovative method of integrated environmental management in FUA’s. The project contributes transnationally toward knowledge and the potential of using Urban Environmental Acupuncture in FUA’s.


Project partners from Germany, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Slovakia implemented the concept of urban environmental acupuncture using pilot projects within four FUAs. The IOER contributed to the project as a whole, but had the main task to guide action planning and creation of transnational guidelines.


Urban Environmental Acupuncture (UEA) is seen as an efficient alternative to larger green infrastructure projects (e.g. the creation of a new city park). Specifically because it begins at the micro level and is cost-effective, allows easier access to land and promises quick implementation, as well as being able to bring about long-term changes at the social level in addition to physical measures. UEA projects are ideal as a renewal measure for small neglected areas in cities, such as squares and courtyards, but also street-side areas (e.g. walls, unmaintained street greenery, etc.).
From the perspective of the cities involved in the SALUTE4CE project, urban environmental acupuncture has potential to improve the green structure of cities specifically by improving urban biodiversity, the microclimate as well as recreational opportunities for city dwellers. Advantageously, the approach is aimed at acupuncture sites from an overall or partial urban perspective and can include diverse, targeted measures. However, not all of the mentioned advantages of the approach (low-cost, quick to implement, small areas easily available, citizens involved, changes long-term) necessarily apply to every individual project. For example, the costs depend on the measures planned in each case. Rapid implementation is also not guaranteed, because the same planning steps and procedures must be completed as for large projects, although the individual measures can usually be implemented more quickly.

Selected project outputs:

  • a methodology and criteria for the selection of small green spaces suitable for UEA,
  • a methodological framework for developing action plans for 4 urban spaces,
  • the implementation of the UEA concept in 4 urban areas ( amongst others Erfurt),
  • a transnational guideline for the development and implementation of local action plans for FUA (functional urban areas) based on the UEA concept,
  • the SALUTE4CE handbook on Urban Environmental Acupuncture (UEA),
  • the implementation of training courses.


SALUTE4CE-Team (...; Wirth, Peter; Hemingway, Jessica; Mathey, Juliane; ...) (Vojvodíková, Barbara Hrsg.) (2022): Handbook SALUTE4CE – Handbook on Urban Environmental Acupuncture. Ostrava: Technical University of Ostrava, Fakulta stavební, Faculty of Civil Engineering.

Hemingway, Jessica; Mathey, Juliane; Wirth, Peter (2022): Guideline for Developing & Implementing Action Plans in Cities or Urban Areas based on Application of UEA (Urban Environmental Acupuncture). IÖR, Dresden.

Jessica M. Hemingway & Alejandro De Castro Mazarro (2022): Pinning down Urban Acupuncture: From a Planning Practice to a Sustainable Urban Transformation Model?, Planning Theory & Practice, DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2022.2037383

SALUTE4CE Team (...; Wirth, Peter; Hemingway, Jessica; Mathey, Juliane; ...) (Eds.) (2021): Urban Environmental Acupuncture Specialists – E-Learning-Course, p. 1-6.

Mathey, Juliane; Hemingway, Jessica (2021): Urban Environmental Acupuncture as One of the Solutions for Reduction of Heat Stress in Urban Space (Chapter 3). In: SALUTE4CE Team (Eds.): Urban Environmental Acupuncture Specialists – E-Learning-Course, p. 1-16.

Hemingway, Jessica; Mathey, Juliane; Wirth, Peter (2021): Action planning for urban environmental acupuncture (small green space) (Chapter 7). In: SALUTE4CE Team (Eds.): Urban Environmental Acupuncture Specialists – E-Learning-Course, p. 1-10.

Hemingway, Jessica; Mathey, Juliane; Wirth, Peter: The transnational concept for action plans (Scientific Report). Dresden: IÖR, 2020.

Hemingway, Jessica; Mathey, Juliane; Wirth, Peter: Urbane Akupunktur: Ein Ansatz zur städtischen Grünentwicklung? In: Transforming Cities (2019) 3, p. 76-80.

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.