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Brasilia, Brazil
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    (April 21, 1960- )
    Capital city of Brazil
    Third largest city in Brazil
    Population: 2,852,372 (2019)
    Metro area population: 4,559,000 (2019)
    Designed by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer
    After a right-wing military coup, elements of Costa and Niemeyer’s original plans were scrapped because of their alleged Marxist symbolism.
    Some of Niemeyer’s buildings have been described as ‘disturbingly surreal,’ with poet Elizabeth Bishop commenting, ‘The sensation of being on another planet – as everyone puts it – is overwhelming.’
    Its construction provided much greater access to the interior of Brazil, which also resulted in increased environmental damage to the Amazon rainforest.
    Its population grew much faster than anticipated, straining basic services.
    It effectively developed into two separate communities: a planned central city with a wealthy population, and a sprawling periphery, where middle and lower income people live.
    It was built around an artificial lake.
    Niemeyer pledged ‘never to fall into the hitherto customary banal style of building,’ and was good as his word.
    It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its modernist architecture (1987).
    It has the highest per capita gross domestic product of any large city in Latin America.
    It is the largest city founded during the 20th century.

Credit: C. Fishel

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