Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brazil - Brasília

I received this fantastic card in a swap from Karina :) As I've written in my previous post about Brazil, most of cards coming from this country show São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro and that I'm always glad to see another Brazilian cities :) But Brasília isn't just another "not so popular" place in Brazil - it's actually the country's capital!

I find this city very interesting, because it was planned and built to be the capital of Brazil. The previous capital of Brazil was Rio de Janeiro (until 1960), but the government decided to relocate the capital to the interior of the country to increase population of that area. Brasília was supposed to be a nearly ideal city - it's shape resembler a bird, butterfly or airplane, when seen from above. Even the streets were planned in such way that there would be no need for traffic lights and transit would flow smoothly. In fact, now there are traffic lights, because the city grew quicker than it was expected. Some people criticize the city, because it's plan was an utopia not meeting the real needs of people and find it boring, even though it's a city with quite high quality of life. On the other hand, building a new city, designed to be a capital, was a very interesting experiment and therefore Brasília was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Brasília is the capital of Brazil. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 (3,599,000 in the metropolitan area), making it the fourth largest city in Brazil. It is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

As the national capital, Brasília is the seat of all three branches of the Brazilian government. The city is a world reference for urban planning. The locating of residential buildings around expansive urban areas, of building the city around large avenues and dividing it into sectors, has sparked a debate and reflection on life in big cities in the 20th century. The city's planned design included specific areas for almost everything, including accommodation.

The city was planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. In 1960, it formally became Brazil's national capital.

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