If you’re interested the tangible benefits of street art and architecture, check out this TED talk from Edi Rama. Rama was mayor of Tirana in Albania from 2000 to 2011, during which time his team covered many buildings in bright, bold colours and patterns.

Here’s what he found:

  • 67% of people surveyed said they wanted more colour (after seeing the first round of brightly coloured buildings)
  • Of the 33% who said they didn’t want any more, half of them said they wanted the colour painting project to continue
  • The colourful buildings led to a reduction in litter and an increase in the number of people paying taxes

Investing in colour and street art is hard to justify when schools, libraries and hospitals are also in need of funds. Rama points out that by making the city feel more beautiful, people felt more positive, hopeful and protected. And this affect politics – more hope leads to better lives.

He also describes some of his work to address architectural issues in the city, where buildings were modified in order to address corruption.

Have a look at the video and tell us what you think. Do you know of any other studies where street art has been shown to improve public life?