Brasília, the Capital of Brazil
Brasília is a federal district, and has been the capital of the country since 1960. Futuristically designed by Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa, the city is in constant evolution and renewal. Its bold architectural design, green areas and modern buildings prompted UNESCO to add it to the World Heritage List.
Brasília was first and foremost built in order to give an impulse to the development of the country's interior. Juscelino Kubistchek, President of Brazil from 1956 to 1960, wanted to open up the broad hinterland. According to his vision, the country's development should not be restricted to the narrow coastal strip along the Atlantic. The site chosen for the new capital was centrally located, distant 2,120 km (1,317 miles) from Belém, 1,015 km (630 miles) from São Paulo and 1,148km (713 miles) from Rio de Janeiro. The nearest railroad was 125 km away (77 miles), the nearest paved road was 640 km away (397 miles), and the nearest airport was 190 km (118 miles) from what would become Brasília.
Seen from the air, Brasília has the shape of an airplane, with the government and administrative buildings forming the fuselage and the wings being residential quarters. To the east, the city is bordered by a half-moon artificial lake. To the west, land rises slightly to the highest point of the city, 1200 meters above sea level.
Today, Brasília is becoming the link between east and west, north and south of South America, also catering to the Atlantic and Pacific markets.