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72 Hour Urban Action Alison Killing of Killing Architects, Rotterdam, and Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky of 72 Hour Urban Action

[The Resourceful Architect] A real-time architecture competition defined by an extreme deadline, tight budget and limited space to resolve local needs

72 Hour Urban Action (72HUA) is the world’s first real-time architecture competition. Teams have three days and three nights to plan and realise projects in response to assigned missions. Our aim is to transform the public realm and to foster a drive among residents and the municipality for higher-quality public space, while demonstrating that this need not be costly, nor take a very long time.

The first 72HUA took place in September 2010 as part of the Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism in Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv, Israel. Ten international teams transformed 10 sites on a run-down street where much of the public space was of negligible quality.

The briefs variously emphasised the need for a sheltered sitting place, the potential for a better entrance to the local neighbourhood and a new use for an empty, rubbish-strewn plot. Feedback was incredibly positive and building permits have now been applied for retrospectively, so these interventions can become permanent.

72HUA asserts that change is possible. It challenges accepted ideas about the ownership of public space, and inspires people to engage more closely with their surroundings. It does this through a participatory process which engages a wide range of actors in the lead-up to the competition itself. And 72HUA has established a global network of practitioners with a passion for action.

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