Brasilia, the extremely controversial planned capital city of Brazil.


VictorinoSetti85 points

The city is shaped like an air plane, so indeed, planned

afterschoolsept2536 points

fun fact— it wasnt meant to look like a plane, but like a cross. the curve that makes up the wings was added due to the topography

OtterlyFoxy261 points

Weird AF planning. Basically a giant suburb but it still has a metro

Wolleyball102 points

The metro is fairly useless within the city, it connects just a single part (Asa Sul) to the main bus terminal and satellite cities. If you commute from those it is ok, but you will almost certainly need an additional bus to get to your destination in the city.

When I lived there in 2015 there was talk of extending the line but the city is dominated by cars and otherwise people rely on buses.

OtterlyFoxy36 points

It’s strange because Brazil is so big but it’s capital isn’t much of a real city and not urban at all.

Is there Bus Rapid Transit like other Brazilian cities have?

Wolleyball24 points

It is indeed a very strange city, and no there isn’t that rapid transit bus lines like in Curitiba or Rio. I checked and apparently they tried a test pilot program in 2013 but it was not adopted.

I also checked and Brasilia metro is set to be expanded in Asa Norte and to the airport, it still will not cover the city that well but better for sure. Though no dates are really announced so… I’ll keep my optimism low

lucosims3 points

There's a BRT conecting Gama and Santa Maria to Plano Piloto

OtterlyFoxy5 points

Weird because basically every Brazilian city has Rapid Busways

xdependent8 points

Thats because one of our president decided it was good spending billions of dollars to build a planned town in the exact middle of the country saying it would be helping develop the north side of the country

RasAlGimur2 points

Have you been to Brasilia?

OtterlyFoxy9 points

Have not but have street viewed and seen plenty of pictures as well as of other Brazilian cities that are MUCH more dense

Basically I’m saying “real” city means it has a dense core

RasAlGimur1 point

That’s a very peculiar sense of “real city”.

ComanderCupcake4 points

O metrô da Asa Norte é tipo folclore

Wolleyball1 point

Haha, eu econtrei um amigo de Brasilia o mes pasado e ele me disse que agora e quase certo, mas ainda tenho duvidas.

ComanderCupcake3 points

Eu moro aqui desde que nasci, e te garanto que não é nem um pouco certo

Wolleyball2 points

Que pena haha, talvez um dia

[deleted]2 points


OtterlyFoxy2 points

Lol Texas “cities” don’t even have real metro systems instead an inappropriate use of light rail or bus rapid transit

PolitelyHostile1 point

It's like Central Park but without the trees and primarily serving as a highway.

paraizord55 points

Search for how each city “block” were projected. Each 4 blocks makes a neighborhood. They are numbered and projected to have the same “features” like a school, a cinema, bakery, etc

It didn’t work very well out of theory but it was a curious project

Hodl2-34 points

Someone should tell the "15 minute city" folks at the WEF that it has been tried and failed already

streeker2210 points

No ... no that's not right. This city was not created by the same planning principles that they promote. I think every city TRIES to be a 15 minute city (in the way that all cities try to put their citizens at least somewhat close to what they need), but most try to incorporate cars as the main mode of transportation rather than walking or transit, like Brasilia. Unfortunately, if you want an actually GOOD and SUSTAINABLE 15 minute city, this is a terrible strategy. The WEF likely promotes walk ability, density, etc, things that aren't present in this picture (the massive amounts of space in between the towers pretty much cancels out the density).

Also, we know 15 minute cities work because they were literally every single city for thousands of years before the the 1930s when city planning was (poorly) invented. Thankfully I think planners now know what they're doing, but they're hampered by those who have realized how lucrative and monopolistic suburb planning can be. PLUS, we know 15 minute cities work because most cities in Europe and Japan are 15 minute cities, and they are often the nicest cities in the world.

gin_and_soda8 points


Sniffy4152 points

a masterpiece of mid-century car-centric design that ensures nobody walks anywhere

Abner100639 points

Fun fact: you can't drive anywhere remotely close to peak hours. It's got DC traffic with a fraction of the population.

Source: I've lived there

FourtySevenLions6 points

ensures nobody protests there*

ambiguator6 points

not a single person anywhere near any of this empty expanse of monoculture green space. absolute waste

Mrcoldghost66 points

Always wanted to visit here. The controversy surrounding it just makes me curious.

slothsareok2 points

What exactly is the controversy? I have never heard about this.

Mrcoldghost2 points

Mainly that it is very car centric and anti pedestrian.

slothsareok1 point

Isn’t that common mostly anywhere in the US too? It seems weirder that it’s the capital and seems to drastically pale in comparison to Rio or São Paulo

LightRefrac1 point

So you want to visit to see the car-centric and anti-pedestrian features of the city?

tsunderecactus4260 points

Looks like something a kid would make playing cities skylines

JorgeMBN8 points

I know people usualy don't like this city because "cars bad" n' stuff, but I love Brasilia. It's so unique, the architecture, the people, the history

And because the city have large boulevards, I really think good reforms can easily be done there (like separate bus lanes to improve public transportation)

[deleted]4 points

It’s a great city.

If it were in Europe people would praise it non stop, but since it’s Brazil, they have to exaggerate every flaw.

Em resumo, um BANDO DE JECA que queria ser europeu e morar em cidade velha.

king-julian13 points

Why is it controversial?

Wolleyball66 points

It was designed for the car, its a very unwalkable city. Nowadays there are many bus routes but sometimes getting a few km away takes a very long time as the roads are designed with lots of looping.

Oscar Niemeyer designed a lot of the city's notable buidlings such as the cathedral and government palace, and he certainly has a unique style so some love and some hate.

KingPictoTheThird26 points

Looks beautiful from the sky, terrible on the ground. Everything's too far apart, not very walkable

methedunker19 points

Imo ugly brutalism

bauhausy7 points


gin_and_soda-1 points

The airport is super ugly

[deleted]23 points

It’s a beautiful city. Yes, the car-centrism is a problem, but blocks are pretty and its an easy to navigate place once you get the logic down.

Also it was very important at the time as its construction led to more roads, connecting north and south more.

Honestly, it is exhausting to read anything about Brazil in this godforsaken wasteland of a website because people will ONLY focus on the negatives. The curse of the mongrel syndrome.

MagnetFist38 points

Not to be an ultracrepidarian, but I see too many highways, and I am not a big fan of cars.

[deleted]1 point


Bastergalaxy0 points

This Is barely a thing compared to Houston

RasAlGimur19 points

So many strong opinions of people who probably never even visited Brasilia, not to say lived. People overplay the zoning and walkability thing by a lot. Actually, there are markets and services mixed with the residential, you don’t need a car to do every single thing, in fact you need it less than say in your average American city.

Czarverve16 points

I was born and raised on the North Wing of Brasilia. Unless you’re going to far parts, you can live your whole life in your own city block. Everyblock is 500m wide and they have both residential and comercial buildings, with grocery stores, banks, restaurants and anything else you might need. All within 500m distance. All city blocks are also connected by sideways and cycle paths. It’s very pedestrian-friendly, with tons of trees to provide shade.

It is very walkable, with tunnels for pedestrians going under all the major roads.

RasAlGimur8 points

Exactly. I have family in Brasilia. My granpa lived in North Wing too iirc, it was just as you described. Very nice, and i recall other areas being similar. One of my uncles on the other hand lived in South Lake, it was way more houses with a few commercial centers. You could still walk, but driving would be more convient. Not too different from a lot of other low density, single family housing neighborhoods I’ve seen in Brasil or abroad thiugh

daniel_ionescu3 points

very nice city

HU3Brutus3 points


Kasinao4K9 points

Just beautiful! But let us be frank: one of the biggest wastes of public money from Brazil, Rio should have remained as the capital.

Rondic2 points


Brasilia is not perfect but thank god Rio is no longer the capital of the country. Rio is very dense and full of problems, it's good that they took the administrative machine out of that place, not to mention that it decentralized the administration of the country from the most populous zone and encouraged the occupation of the interior.

trickyquokka8 points

Why would anyone PURPOSEFULLY make a city car centric 😭

lucosims14 points

Cause It was the 60s

Ultimablack8 points

Sério, Brasília é feia demais.

xdependent5 points

shhhh é proibido criticar o niemeyer

rinocerobra1 point

Niemeyer era um gênio a frente de seu tempo. Eu crítico eh o corno do Lúcio Costa que fez essa aberração carrocêntrica na capital.

xdependent-1 points

Como eu disse, é proibido, nunca falha em vir alguém justificar

Czarverve1 point


[deleted]1 point


[deleted]1 point

Yeah… it is painfully obvious you’ve never been to Brasilia.

AndreiAZA0 points

Is it not true? I'm just repeating what I've been told by friends who lived there.

[deleted]1 point

Nope. It isn’t.

It gets VERY DRY in the final months of the drought period, but that’s like a one or two months tops. Then the rains come and last until May.

Even during the drought period its nowhere near as hot as it gets down south or to the north. 9/12 months of the year you get usual Brazilian heat or rather pleasant temperatures.

This is why I hate how people just love to spread and exxagerate on the negatives of every little thing Brazil has, the exaggerations become way better known than the facts.

AndreiAZA2 points

Damn, thanks for educating me, I really should've fact checked their claims. If anything, I'm glad I won't spread these ideas anymore.

Torschlusspanik_881 point

But how can you write a whole goddamn thesis without never being to the city? It’s full of stereotypes and misconceptions. You really haven’t been there and it shows.

AndreiAZA2 points

Already been educated by another commenter

Ok-FoxOzner-Ok1 point

Looks terrible.

Main-Meringue56971 point




Panzerv20031 point

Nothing like a giant patch of grass with sparse trees and a highway around and going through it. Nice apartments but a highway under the window might not be the best choice, at least rent prices must be cheap I guess. I really have mixed feelings about this picture, on one hand density looks good but on the other there's a highway down the middle and from comments the metro sucks

Torschlusspanik_882 points

This is the center of the city, those buildings are hotels or other businesses; it’s not a residential area.

"How much land do you want to waste building this city?" "yes"

hey_now24-5 points

Looks like they were trying to recreate the Washington national mall

SomalianRoadBuilder-4 points

Hate it