We say, "It starts with a playground," but really "it" can start with any community project that unites a neighborhood and brings more joy and color to people's lives.
At right is the central square of Santa Marta, a community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Or at least, that's what Santa Marta used to look like — before a community-driven intervention that brought to life the vision of Dutch artist duo Haas & Hahn. After a crash course in housepainting basics, residents took a month to paint the buildings around the square.
Here's what the square looks like now:
Photo credit: Haas & Hahn for favelapainting.com.