Sunday, June 8, 2008

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Inaugurated on 21 April 1960, Brazil's new capital of Brasilia began with a population of 140 000 and a master plan for carefully controlled growth and development that would limit the city to 500 000. Urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer intended that every element - from the layout of the residential and administrative districts to the symmetry of the buildings themselves - should act in harmony with the city's overall design. This consisted of a bird-shaped core with residential areas situated between the encircling "arms" of Lake Paranoá. The city was a landmark in town planning and was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1987.

As these images reveal, unplanned urban developments arose at Brasilia's fringes resulting in a collection of urban "satellites" around the city, at the cost of much of the forested area. Several new reservoirs have been constructed since Brasilia's birth, but the National Park of Brasilia stands out as a densely vegetated expanse of dark green that has remained relatively unchanged. In 1970, the population of Brasilia and its satellites was roughly 500 000. The population now exceeds 2 000 000. View detailed information

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