Community Projects

How Painting Can Transform Communities (TED video)

Communities are often built like forests – without a master plan. It all starts with one seed. Artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn create community art by painting entire neighborhoods. The first colorful seed was planted in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and ended up spreading throughout the world. Their success lies in involving those who live there, and throwing barbecues! Throughout their talk, you will be able to see most of the permaculture principles being put to use, almost step by step. They observed and interacted, accepted feedback, integrated rather tan segregated, found slow solutions, and valued the marginal amongst other things. For more about this inspiring project, check out Favela Painting.


  1. Gardner for years, but new to permaculture. Just finished reading about food forests. Since I planted a forest 13 years ago, I am happy to start planting as recommended to create a food forest.

    I was also very happy to find information about swales as I had been a bit confused about how to create and use them. Since I am developing another part of my property for more food production, I am anxious to employ what I have learned. Thank yo uso much for the really informative article!!

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