Until very recently, the village of Kampung Pelangi in Indonesia was considered a slum. But then a local junior high principal from the town, Slamet Widodo, had the idea to paint every village building like a Lisa Frank rainbow dream. Throw in a bit of cash from the government—around $22,500—and Widodo’s vision is now reality, earning Kampung Pelangi a new nickname: the Rainbow Village of South Semarang.
Widodo got the idea from a handful of other Indonesian towns that have used artful painting to boost tourism revenues. The same idea also famously transformed favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In Kampung Pelangi, more than 230 homes were transformed, not to mention bridges and benches. The rules were simple: Any structure had to display at least three vibrant colors. Homeowners went wild with the pigments, inviting artists to paint playful patterns and murals.
The town is already seeing results. The Indonesian Builders Association reported that local restaurants had seen a noticeable rise in sales.