Monday, February 18, 2013

Taking cities back with paint

Transforming through color: Tirana, Albania.
Photo by David Dufresne

Ever notice a bright colored house? Ever noticed thousands?

There are obvious contenders for the throne of most colorful city. San Francisco's Lower Haight district or Miami's South Beach come to mind. Even better: Brazil's painted Favela's in Rio, Chile's Valparaiso, or Newfoundland's St. Johns in Canada.

But I know of no city that has intentionally attempted to transform blight, crime and the energy of a place through color. Until now.

In this talk Edi Rama, former mayor of Albania's capital, Tirana, describes how his city began their city transformation with paint. Check out the simplicity and impact.

This is an inspirational city and an inspirational mayor.

2 Replies so far - Add your comment

  1. I very much enjoyed this. What I found striking was that even in our own community gray colors are mandated for historical structures. If our community leadership had any vision they would find valuable lessons such as the use of color, people/community friendly open spaces and sidewalks. Do not underestimate the value of sidewalks in creating a community.

    Van C.

  2. Van - I wholeheartedly agree with you, especially about leadership.

    My experience with visionary leadership is that it requires two things: leaders with gumption and followers willing to step outside their own biases. And both need to see what "exceptional" looks like.

    That's why I post blogs on exceptional places, exceptional leaders, and exceptional followers - not crappy ones.

    Thanks for the comment.


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