One Mexican town is quite a bit brighter these days, thanks to a government-sponsored urban renewal project.
The Germen Crew, a local youth group known for its street art and graffiti projects, turned 209 homes into one giant canvas for a rainbow-hued mural.
Over 450 families and nearly 2,000 people have seen their homes transformed into a colorful display, which is meant to bring the community together and discourage crime.
The massive new artwork, El Macro Mural Barrio de Palmitas, which covers over 20,000 square meters (about 65,000 square feet), can be found on the hillside neighborhood of Palmitas, in the town of Pachuca, Mexico—an hour and a half drive from Mexico City.
The design was led by Mibe, a Mexico City-based street artist, and the piece took two and a half months to complete. The Germen Crew attempts to “use culture as a tool for the transformation of the social fabric and consolidation of a sense of identity,” Mibe told Epoca, a Portuguese-language news service.
“Graffiti, art, and its history have transformed us and allowed us to avoid…bad decisions,” Germen Crew member Uriel del Rio told Al Jazeera last year after working on a much smaller piece in Mexico City. “From of our experience, we propose it can change the lives of others.”
The work also seems likely to cause a boost in tourism. As part of a promotional campaign for Sony’s Smurf movie, each and every building in the small Spanish town of Júzcar, which is part of the traditional White Towns of Andalusia, was painted the iconic shade of Smurf blue in spring 2011.
After 80,000 tourists visited in the next six months, the town voted to keep the town blue, even though Sony had offered to reapply the whitewash.
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