March 28, 2012 Kerala Taylor

Extreme makeover: How a community transformed their hillside slum

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

Learn more and see other painting projects.

bright ideas, wordless wednesday, rio de janeiro, community, brazil