Are 72 hours enough to transform your city?

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That’s exactly what the people from 72 Hour Urban Action wanted to prove. Given the name of “Guerrilla” Architecture by The Times magazine, this innovative project has been extensively echoed in the main online and offline media all around the world.

The main goal of 72 Hour Urban Action is to generate a public debate regarding urban activities, in order to promote quality of life within cities. The first guerrilla urban action was celebrated in Tel Aviv as part of the Bat Yam Landscape Urbanism Biennale.

Ten teams of architects, artists, designers and students competed in a race to construct, from start to finish, public projects in just three days and nights. One hundred and twenty volunteers from Israel, Morocco, the United States, South Korea, Italy, Taiwan, Russia, Bulgaria and Turkey; had to design and build a project, with the specific requirement of meeting a social need or improving the urban experience in just 72 hours.

72 HOUR URBAN ACTION | EPISODE 01 from 72 Hour Urban Action on Vimeo.

The Ten teams were each given a budget of 2.000 Euro for materials. They also had two trucks and a tractor. The winning team was awarded 3.500 Euro as a cash prize as well as the chance to see their creation remain permanently. When the final whistle blew, the public spaces looked very different, having suddenly been furnished with the shadings necessary to protect people from the sun and with the installation of new seating and child play areas.

It seems that all parties involved in the project (the organizers, volunteers and the local community) were highly satisfied with the final result. The high quality spaces that have resulted from the competition, have made the government and also the local residents realise, that extravagant times are not needed in order to carry out some changes in public spaces. Furthermore, due to this project local governments will no longer able to use lack of funds, as an excuse not to take action in urban development. Thanks to this project it has been proved that you don’t need a budget of millions to make small or even massive improvements at local level.

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The first urban action project had such a great success, that it’s now time to bring the experience to other cities. Another 72 Hour Urban Action project took place in Los Angeles on Wednesday the 20th of April sponsored by GOOD. We are hoping that this won’t be the last Urban Action project and that they continue to take place around the world, creating more enjoyable environments within our cities.

 

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