Lessons learnt from the online training on urban acupuncture

Representatives of public administration, the non-profit sector, schools, architects and public participated on the training on urban acupuncture, which took place on February 11, 2021. The training was held online due to the pandemic situation and was targeted on territorial stakeholders from the Functional Urban Aarea of the city of Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia.

The aim of the training was to introduce and discuss possible interventions, so called Natural Based Solutions, to create urban environmental acupuncture. This training led to better understanding of the application of natural based solutions on the small spots. Such interventions may support the sustainable city development.

Training activities were tailored for territorial stakeholders in Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia. Trainings implemented on the improvement of the environmental quality in functional urban areas are one of the activity within SALUTE4CE project, explains Barbara Vojvodíková from the project partner organization IURS -  Institute for Sustainable Development of Settlements from Czech Republic. IURS, z.s. has the role of the knowledge partner for the city of Liptovský Mikuláš in this project targeted on protection and development of natural resources by the integrated environmental management of green and blue infrastructure.

The stakeholders (22 persons) watched the introduction video about the virtual city that called for help with various problems – drought, lack of green areas, heat stress

The effects of various natural based solutions were explained by Barbara Vojvodíková. The pros and cons of individual NBS were mentioned and discussed. Participants had to choose the right ones NBS to help the virtual city SALUTE4CE to improve the public spaces and the quality of life. The reasons for applications of different NBS can be divided into 5 main groups according to their effects: decreasing of heat stress, reduction of soil sealing, the loss of habitat, better management of storm water, improving of air quality and of course social effects. 30 types of NBS were identified within the SALUTE4CE project, which is really wide range of possible interventions. Some include relatively expensive solutions like green façade or green roof but also affordable ones as the herbs spiral or urban meadows. If you wants to know more information about NBS please visit the project website.


- Use appropriate online platform, if you have more participants (more than 10), divide them into more groups (this is possible on ZOOM platform)

- Have enough time to check connectivity and explain the participants how to use video and microphone, how to participate on online debate etc.

- At the beginning of the online training the participants should be shortly acquainted with the general goals of the project to have some overall look with the connection to their locality

- It is good to explain and describe the individual NBS and their functions with specific examples (it is very useful to use online videos on Youtube)

- Discussion on „virtual city“ is easier when we do not know the participants background and opinions, they will learn about the topic and later we may discuss concrete spots in more detail offline (here in the city of Liptovský Mikuláš and its FUA)

- Have enough time for closing discussion to answer all participant questions

- Online trainings are demanding, we recommend to have breaks after 2 hours

Blanka Marková from IURS - Institute for Sustainable Development of Settlements says: „Lessons from the trainings will make guidelines for practitioners and other project partners not only in the time of global pandemic. We all face limitations and restrictions but thanks to new technology and platforms we are able to run online trainings and involve territorial stakeholders into the improvement of the environmental quality in functional urban areas.