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Eccentric Brasilia

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Territorial occupation in the Federal District, Brazil, is characterised by the dichotomy between (a) the Pilot Plan, the bit of the Capital originally designed by Lúcio Costa, where only circa 10% of the population of the whole city lives today, and where the huge majority of all jobs are located, and (b) the other cities which constitute the Federal District, inhabited by the other 90%, with a limited number of jobs. Moreover, a morphological analysis surprisingly reveals that, even from the very beginning, in the 1960s, the Pilot Plan is not central to the city as a whole, in contradiction to the declared intentions of Costa's project. This paper explores analytical procedures to characterise such eccentricity, as well as the ‘poli-nucleation’ and sparseness of this urban formation, as compared with other Brazilian cities. It also comments on the high social costs involved in such configuration and it reveals that the same underlying and segregative logic still prevails in current urban design policies, by which every effort is made towards preventing a greater number of people from living near the greater concentration of jobs, and even from using more intensely the monumental spaces of the city in their daily lives.

This is an updated version (April 2002) of the paper presented to the Space Syntax – III International Symposium, Atlanta, 7–11 May 2001.

URBAN DESIGN International (2002) 7, 19–28. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.udi.9000063
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil

Publication date: 01 March 2002

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