Small matters: Explaining the city through a medieval wall
Small matters

Explaining the city through a medieval wall


  • Tadej Bevk University of Ljubljana




small scale interventions, urban acupuncture, urban design, Slovenia


In the city of Kranj, Slovenia, three former medieval defence towers were redesigned as public spaces. The three interventions are positioned and discussed within the frame of small-scale interventions, specifically as urban acupuncture. First, small-scale interventions are looked at as an approach to designing open space, and parallels with landscape approach are presented. Second, the Three Towers project is discussed, focussing on the relationship it establishes between the city and its context. As the city is built on top of a conglomerate canyon, the interventions open up the slopes and offer distinct views of the surrounding landscape. In this way, they rediscover and emphasise the relationships between the existing contextual amenities and the city itself. The experience of the site grounds the visitor in a physical and historical context and thus fulfils the mental map one might create of Kranj. In this way, the three small interventions influence the perception of the whole city.

How to Cite

Bevk, T. (2018). Small matters: Explaining the city through a medieval wall. SPOOL, 5(1), 95–106.





Crawford, M., Speaks, M., & Mehrotra, R. (2005). Everyday urbanism : Margaret Crawford vs. Michael Speaks / edited by Rahul Mehrotra. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University of Michigan, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture ; New York, NY: Distributed Arts Press, c2005.

Dooren, N. van. (2006). Thoughts on the relevance of landscape architecture: The Berlin Tilla-Durieux-Park and Spreebogenpark examined in the context of a unifying capital. Journal of Landscape Architecture, 1(2), 54–65.

Elkjaer, L. (2010). Laurits Elkjær - Marco Casagrande: Urban Acupuncture. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts - School of Architecture in Copenhagen. Retrieved from:

Eurostat. (2016).Eurostatistics. Data for short-term economic analysis. Luxemburg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Harsema, H. (2011). Acpupunctuur. ‘Scape, 2011: 1, (pp. 14-16).

Heyde, S. (2015). History as a source for innovation in landscape architecture: the First World War landscapes in Flanders. Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes, 2015: 35, 3, (pp. 183-197).

Houghton, K., Foth, M. & Miller, E. (2015b). Urban Acupuncture: Hybrid Social and Technological Practices for Hyperlocal

Placemaking. Journal of Urban Technology, 2015: 22, 3, (pp. 3-19).

Houghton, K., Hee-jeong Choi, J. & Lugmayr, A. (2015a). From the Guest Editors: Urban Acupuncture. Journal of Urban Technology, 2015: 22, 3, (pp. 1-2).

Karamanea, P. (2015). Landscape, memory and contemporary design. Craft-Design Enquiry, 2015: 7, (pp. 113-134).

Kelbaugh, D. (2000). Three Paradigms: New Urbanism, Everyday Urbanism, Post Urbanism—An Excerpt From The Essential COMMON PLACE. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 20(4), 285–289.

Kuitert, W. (2015). Borrowing scenery and the landscape that lends—the final chapter of Yuanye. Journal of Landscape Architecture, 10(2), 32–43.

Lerner, J. (2014). Urban Acupuncture: Celebrating Priciples of Change that Enrich City Life. London, England: Island Press.

Lindblom, C. E. (1959). The Science of ‘Muddling Through’. Public Administration Review, 1959: 19, 2, (pp. 79–88).

Marzi, M. & Ancona, N. (2004, September). Urban acupuncture, a proposal for the renewal of Milan’s urban ring road, Milan, Italy. Paper presented at the 40th ISoCaRP Congress, Geneva, Switzerland. Article retrieved online from

Mestna obcina Kranj. (not dated). 3 stolp: Predstavitev ureditve obrambnega sistema Kranja (Mestna obcina Kranj) [3 Towers: Introduction to the design of defense system of Kranj (Municipality of Kranj)] [Brochure]

Pasha, A. A. (2015). Punctured Urbanism. Journal of Civil Engineering and Architectural Research, 2015: 2, 9, (pp. 891-897).
Rowe, C. & Koetter, F. (1986). Collage city. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Shidan, C. & Qian, S. (2011). Urban Acupuncture: strategy in the Urban Renewal. International Conference on Electric Technology and Civil Engineering (ICETCE), 2011 (pp. 1859-1862).

Silva, P. (2016). Tactical urbanism: Towards an evolutionary cities’ approach?. Environment and Planning, 2016: 43, 6, (pp. 1040–1051).

Tortosa, L., Vicent, J.F., Zamora, A. & Oliver, J.L. (2010). A neutral network model to develop urban acupuncture. In: Setchi, R., Jordanov, I., Howlett, R.J. & Jain, L.C. (eds.). Knowledge-based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems. 14th International Conference, KES 2010 Cardiff.. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag 2010 (31–40).

Unt, A. L. & Bell, S. (2014). The impact of small-scale design interventions on the behaviour patterns of the users of an urban wasteland. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 2014: 13, 1, (pp. 121-135).