About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

GOOD 100: Meet Kerem Halbrecht, Solving Urban Problems At Warp Speed

While we applaud those of you with a tireless, nonstop work ethic, many of us are guilty of bouts of procrastination. We all drag out the simple tasks

While we applaud those of you with a tireless, nonstop work ethic, many of us are guilty of bouts of procrastination. We drag out simple tasks that could seemingly take an hour of concentrated work over the course of a day, or two. So, let’s reflect. Over the past three days, what have you accomplished? If you think about it, three days isn’t that much time at all.

For Kerem Habrecht, three days is enough to time to digest an existing problem with public space, and outline a realistic solution. Halbrecht is the mastermind behind 72 Hour Urban Action, founded back in 2010 in Bat-Yam, Israel, as part of the Bat-Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism. 72HUA, Halbrecht says, can be neatly summed up as “a rapid urban problem-solving marathon.”

In this real-time competition, the first of its kind, 10 international teams of architects and builders from the world over converge on a chosen location where they are assigned a task, and have just three frenzied days, and three frenzied nights, to fabricate a structural solution to a local problem. Team members have to factor in limited resources, time (to state the obvious), and money for their final submission. They also have to work, eat, and sleep on site. Sounds crazy, right?

Sometimes the crazy ideas turn out to be the best. 72HUA now exists in Stuttgart, Germany and Terni, Italy, and will be coming to New York this year. Partnering with the Queens Museum, Flux Factory, and the NYC DOT, 72HUA will be giving one deserving street in Queens, New York, a much needed, radical makeover.

“We plan to storm Queens, but in a good way,” Halbrecht says.

72HUA and its partners are solidifying the Queens activation following a planning meeting this month, with the highly anticipated main event scheduled to take place this September.

All participants will be a mix of local and international, Halbrecht says, and he hopes for success on all fronts: “for the community, for urban innovation, for the participants, for the different organizations involved, for hope, and for meaning.”

Makes you think, eh? What good can you do in the next three days?

Follow Kerem Halbrecht here.

Get this and more delivered to your home by subscribing to GOOD Magazine at It's just $25 for an annual subscription (21% off the cover price.)

More Stories on Good