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City of Brasilia, Its Development and How It Affects the Population

City of Brasilia, Its Development and How It Affects the Population


Brasília is the administrative, economic, and cultural capital of Brazil, in the country's Federal District. Located in the southwestern part of the Goias state, Brasília is unique among world capitals in that the entire city was planned and constructed during the twentieth century. The layout of the urban area, as seen from above, forms the shape of a flying bird or an airplane. The "body" consists of most of the city's business, administrative, and financial buildings, while the "wings" of the city are comprised of residential units(Kanashiro, 2008).

History of Brasilia

Brazilian President José Bonifácio passed a bill in 1823 that called for the construction of a new capital somewhere in the central region of the country. The two previous capitals, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, were located near the ocean, which made them vulnerable to attack. Bonifácio was the first to propose the name Brasília for the new capital.

Brazil declared its independence in 1822, and in 1825 was formally recognized as an independent nation, no longer under the control of Portugal. Brazil was led by a series of regents until, in 1889, the country officially became a republic. The first constitution proclaimed that a new capital would be built away from the coast. In 1894, 14,400 square kilometers of central plains territory were reserved as the proposed site of the new capital(Graham, and Marvin, 2001).

In 1922, at a symbolic ceremony, the first stone of the new capital was laid. The area is now contained within one of Brasília's satellite communities. Political disturbances halted progress on the capital project for a number of years until, in 1955, the Commission for a New Federal Capital chose the site for construction of the urban area.

The following year, Juscelino Kubitschek was elected president, using progress on the capital project as a cornerstone of his campaign. Kubitschek organized NOVACAP, the Company for Urbanization of the New Capital, and invited young modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer to lead the project. Kubitschek's campaign slogan "fifty in five" meant that he intended to stimulate the equivalent of fifty years of growth during his five-year term(Kanashiro, 2008).

In 1956, Kubitschek had a modest presidential residence built at the outskirts of the construction area so that he could personally observe each phase of the building project. The residence, called the Catetinho, has been preserved as a museum dedicated to president Kubitschek and the construction of Brasília.

In 1957, Kubitschek invited architects from around the country to compete in a contest to design the overall structure of the city. Architect Lúcio Costa won the contest with his famous "flying bird" design. Costa worked closely with Kubitschek and Niemeyer in realizing every aspect of the city's design(Marchetti, 1994).

During the construction effort, thousands of migrants came to Brasília from across the country. In the original plan, the city was intended to house only government employees and others essential to the city's ...
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