Just a few years ago, the “Rainbow Village” of Malang in Indonesia was an embarrassed thing for city officials and unhygienic people who were killed by slums. This old quarter of collapsed houses, built in the very center of the city, was already ready for a footnote to be rebuilt.
But at the last minute, a group of students and a local paint manufacturing company got involved and decided to avoid the relocation of thousands of families, most of whom lived there for several generations. In one stroke, this improved the standard of living, increased income and created what turned out to be one of the most popular places for selfies among local tourists throughout Java.
Buildings, sanitation and infrastructure have been renovated; local servicemen were given brushes and rollers, and every inch – from bridges and steps to roofs and television programs – received a fresh layer of bright paint, as well as some attractive frescoes. At present, minimal admission is charged (less than 50 seconds) for maintenance and community projects, and residents were invited to open cafes, street stalls, workshops, and even family accommodation. Currently, local residents are not only proud of the fact that they used to be a miserable slum, but also often observe a long-awaited increase in income.
No houses were demolished, new construction was not started, no one moved, and it is surprising that families still live and do their daily activities, so there is no artificial feeling, because locals still hang their washed rags, clean their motorcycles eat their noodles among the frescoes, souvenirs and the children are still playing on the multi-colored stairs under the umbrellas.
The project was so successful that it was now expanded within Malanga, and also adopted by other major Indonesian cities (some of which actually claim that it was their idea!)
Malang is a very unusual, picturesque, photogenic and exciting area, as well as simply a brilliant urban renewal scheme that can and should become a model in many other emerging areas of developing cities. A labyrinth of quiet alleys and alleys to explore, combined with a fantastic, enthusiastic noise and pleasant atmosphere; we can’t wait to visit this place!