Municipal councils probably have conservative tendencies everywhere. So it takes civic action to open their eyes to the brilliance and variety of the world around them.
In Istanbul the colour spreader was a retired forestry engineer, Hüseyin Çetinel. He invested a chunk of money (equivalent to $800) in bright paint and turned some boring public stairways into rainbows.
City officials were not amused. They brought out the grey paint and re-borified (OK, I made that up – looking for a word that meant “made boring again”) the steps. That did not sit right with the citizens of Istanbul, who liked the rainbow steps. So they turned out with paint pots and turned a lot more public stairways into beautiful rainbows.
The Twittersphere picked up on it and posted colourful photographs from around the world. Diren Merdiven created a colour-filled video of rainbows and bright patterns painted on stairways around Turkey. And the whole world, at least the Internet-connected world, smiled.
In the top video below, you can see the grey-painted stairs and the forestry engineer who started it all. In the bottom video, you can see the beauty people brought to their cities, with the same kind of civic spirit as the man who inspired them.
They give me hope.