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View Poll Results: Rate the skyline
10 67 19.88%
9.5 14 4.15%
9 20 5.93%
8.5 11 3.26%
8 26 7.72%
7.5 14 4.15%
7 33 9.79%
6.5 21 6.23%
6 31 9.20%
5.5 7 2.08%
5 22 6.53%
4.5 10 2.97%
4 19 5.64%
3.5 6 1.78%
3 or less 36 10.68%
Voters: 337. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:09 AM   #241
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The first two pics are of the 50's, before the completion of the project.

Who here wants to compare Brasilia to Washington? Washington know that the city is a lot older than Brasilia and despite being pretty does not bring anything innovative.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:12 AM   #242
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Brasilia:
image hosted on flickr

image hosted on flickr


Nairobi:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3471/...3513899fa2.jpg
http://www.kenyanview.com/IMG_0865_Nairobi_skyline.jpg
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Last edited by Manitopiaaa; April 14th, 2013 at 01:23 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:16 AM   #243
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I'll move my post to this new page so RPFiguerido can respond:

RPFigueiredo, let's look at these pictures one-by-one


Tell me what is beautiful about this landscape. I see a flat wasteland with two concrete monstrosities called 'modernist gems'. It looks like a picture taken in 1960 in any random Soviet city. You may hate opulence but when I look at the seat of the world's 7th largest economy like Brazil, I expect to see a building that exhibits opulence and dignity. What do we have instead? Two side-by-side commieblocks, a massive plaza that looks like an American-style surface parking lot, a barren terrain with no discernible landscape or terraforming to note and two buildings beside the parking lot that look like my elementary school. That's noteworthy to you? That's somehow beautiful to you? It looks like an old American office park.

Let's look at this one now:

Again, tell me how this showcases urbanity. It looks like a ghost town. Ugly old apartments and massive streets that destroy any chance of a vibrant pedestrian cityscape. Where are the sidewalks? Or is this car-dependant hellscape supposed to be beautiful as well. Just because a picture is black and white doesn't make it beautiful my friend


Again, what's so special here? You tell me Brasilia is supposed to be unique yet this is clearly a two-bit knockoff of the National Mall in Washington DC. The only problem is that unlike the mall there's no street-level vibrancy. Then you have six-lane highways next to this supposed pedestrian-friendly park near the Capital. How does this foster vibrancy? This picture could be Nairobi or Abuja or Maputo or any third world city. There's nothing particularly beautiful to look at here.

Here's Washington DC's National Mall by comparison:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/hi...800/15872v.jpg
http://www.globaltimes.cn/Portals/0/...39e43cdcb.jpeg
Now Washington has many problems as well but all in all is a very beautiful city. Washington blends beautiful lush vegetation with a dignified and opulent building. It follows symmetry but also respects urbanity. There is a corridor (the National Mall) just like in Brasilia but there aren't massive highways sectioning off the National Mall. Unlike Brasilia where the corridor is full of ministries, the National Mall in the US is home to all of America's greatest treasures. From the National Gallery of Art to the Air and Space Museum, you could spend a week just looking at everything in the National Mall. DC also is a city with few highrises but has a lot more urbanity to it that is lacking in Brasilia. Brasilia has a density of 1,145 per square mile. Washington has a density of 10,000+ per square mile. Brasilia seems committed to making sure all parts of the city look the same. Washington DC has various different neighborhoods with different architecture (Chinatown, Georgetown, Atlas District, Adams-Morgan). So Washington has symmetry and all that formulaic nonsense but it also manages to blend an urban layout with a strong commitment to a vibrant street-level landscape. So it's definitely possible to blend both. I'm not against urban planning and I'm not against modernism. I'm against the way it was implemented in Brasilia where you now have a capitol that looks dead, bland, ugly, full of concrete, and empty. Brasilia has 2.6 million people but it looks like Tyson's Corner, Virginia an office park of 50,000. That's not something to be proud of

Tyson's Corner
http://therealestatedirt.com/files/2...onsskyline.jpg
http://thecityfix.com/files/2013/02/...7b_z_VaDOT.jpg
http://photorator.com/photos/images/...-va--10246.jpg



Tell me how Brasilia looks any different than this dry American city of 50,000?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FAAN View Post
The first two pics are of the 50's, before the completion of the project.

Who here wants to compare Brasilia to Washington? Washington know that the city is a lot older than Brasilia and despite being pretty does not bring anything innovative.
No, Washington is probably one of the most boring big cities in America. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco are all funner. And when did I say Washington was innovative? I never said that. You guys keep dropping the word 'unique' when talking about Brasilia when all it is is a badly done copy of Washington! So neither Brasilia nor Washington are particularly innovative. Washington though is prettier and has a better cityscape. You would think that Brasilia, the capital of a BRICS nation, could at least look different than Nairobi or Tyson's Corner. Show someone a picture of Rio and they'll guess correctly in a snap. Show someone a picture of Brasilia and 99.999% chance they won't get it right.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:17 AM   #244
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WTF? What is the purpose of comparison?
BTW, please remove the pictures this thread is to Brasília, not Washington or Nairobi.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:22 AM   #245
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Done
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Portland (3,160,488) - San Diego (3,317,749) - San Francisco (8,751,807) - Seattle (4,684,516) - Tampa (3,032,171) - Washington (9,665,892)
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:48 AM   #246
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Why are you doing this? You are trying to prove me wrong in any way you can, while I'm just trying to share my knoledge of a particular experience in 20th century urbanism. I didn't post these pictures to prove you wrong (like you're doing with your pictures of Washington). I'm just trying to share knowledge, weather you like the city or not.

Regarding your analysis of the pictures, here's my response:

1- Yes, Brasília was built in the middle of nowhere exactly to help interiorise the country. The population had historically been glued to the coast, and Kubitschek wanted to change that. And he succeded. There are many thriving state capitals in the centre of the country today.

And your comparison between the two towers of the Congress with 'any random Soviet city' makes me doubt your credibility as an architecture enthusiast. Are you not aware that one of the principles of modernist architecture is to simplify construction, although with an almost classical atention to proportion? The towers are not architectural gems on theirselves. It's the volumetric composition of the National Congress that is so admired world over:


Please don't tell me that you actually thought the two monoliths were the special flavour of the building... The towers are the vertical element that crowns the monumental axis, the same way you have a rather tall copy of an egyptian obelisque in your precious Washington mall.

And dignity was the exact word used by both Costa and Niemeyer when describing the Square of the three powers. Things are dynamical and serene, with a lot of dignity at the same time:


Show me which school is like this?


I see deep dignity in our supreme court...

2- I never said that the monumental axis is a great display of urbanity. It is meant to be huge and representative so that it would look already like a capital before the city was complete. For god's sake, the place was built in 3 years! One thousand kilometers away from the material supply point! If you want the green, vibrant life of Brasília, look at the residential sectors!




Right after school the whole of the superquadras are filled with children, playing in the city gardens (there are no fences). The residential blocks are limited to six floors so that they don't lose the contact with the ground. A mother may shout for their kids to come up for dinner...

3- Nothing is created from zero. Culture is heredity and transformation. Brasília may be to Washington what Washington's mall is to Haussmann's boulevards in Paris. Axiality in urban planning dates back to the Mayans.
And I think I adressed your 'pedestrian friendliness' in my pictures above... Now, are you sure you want to acuse Brasília of being a copy of Washington? How many buildings in the world have you seen like this:


Seriously, this building is a lesson on composition and architectural urbanity! There's a plaza at the top of the Senate!

Because the White House, the Capitol, the Washington monument don't look too creative to me... The Washington mall is less creative, but it is beautiful in its own way. It is quite heavy however. The esplanade in Brasília is airy and light. And this reflects in the architecture. Compare the white house with the Alvorada Palace:

image hosted on flickr

New, strikingly modern, though timeless! A greek temple and a Brazilian farm house at the same time!

4- Brasília respects humanity. Not one the monumental axis. It was not meant to be human. You don't like it, OK! I don't blame you! But the residential areas are extremely green, human, friendly, all of that. Brasília was meant to be low density. The isolation of the blocks among greenery clearly shows that, so don't point to density as an indication of the city's success. and yes, Brasília was designed to look homogenous! Again, you don't like it? Fine!

But a copy?????? NEVER.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:58 AM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
Tell me how Brasilia looks any different than this dry American city of 50,000?
That's a stupid comment! TROLL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
No, Washington is probably one of the most boring big cities in America. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco are all funner. And when did I say Washington was innovative? I never said that. You guys keep dropping the word 'unique' when talking about Brasilia when all it is is a badly done copy of Washington! So neither Brasilia nor Washington are particularly innovative. Washington though is prettier and has a better cityscape. You would think that Brasilia, the capital of a BRICS nation, could at least look different than Nairobi or Tyson's Corner. Show someone a picture of Rio and they'll guess correctly in a snap. Show someone a picture of Brasilia and 99.999% chance they won't get it right.
If it's a person uninformed as you probably will not recognize.

I never said that Brasilia is one of the most entertaining and culturally cities in Brazil. But nobody can say that it is not thriving. You should probably be very egocentric to believe that Brasilia was a copy of Washington, besides to common abundant green areas commom in planned cities, what is the other similarities? Maybe some part of Washington may also have been a copy of the urban setting of Paris. I keep don't understanding your comparisons and floods in this thread
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:59 AM   #248
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Done
What's done? Your coments like a troll?
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:00 AM   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
Show someone a picture of Brasilia and 99.999% chance they won't get it right.
OMG you've got to be kiding me!



Show me any picture that may cause any confusion with this perspective! The simple geometry of the congress is a trademark. Anyone who sees this for 0.1sec knows it's Brasília (of course, if you know the place).
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:16 AM   #250
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And sorry Manitopiaaa, but I forgot to comment on the black and white picture - I think I've made this point before, but I get the impression that we are talking about different things. I know b&w don't make things beautiful - I think the space, the building's disposition are beautiful, like a procession to the Congress. But I agree with you, there's no chance for a vibrant pedestrian cityscape.

As I mentioned previously, do not judge it with your contemporary eyes. In the 1960s, a city made for cars was what people thought was the future. Imagine yourself driving thourhg it, that's what was on Lucio Costa's mind. The pedestrian was meant to stay in the nice green superquadras, with its local market, schools and primary needs close by.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:19 AM   #251
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That looks like a giant soccer field

Quote:
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What's done? Your coments like a troll?
No, "done" meant I took away the pictures as you requested (like any 'troll' would do, right?) I'm sorry but every comment I've made has been backed with facts and information. If anything, you guys are the ones inhibiting debate for no reason. I'm having a conversation with RPFigueiredo because he claims Brasilia is 'unique' and I disagree. When you claim your city is 'unique' that is by default a comparison with other cities. Notice that I didn't compare Brasilia to DC or Nairobi until that word was uttered. Now trolls usually have a disdain for a reason. Now tell me why do you assume I dislike Brasilia? I merely commented that it doesn't look the part as the capital of one of the world's most powerful nations. I have no vendetta against Brasilia and actually hope that the city breaks out of this obsession with architectural homogenity and starts embracing a more heterogenous cityscape that embraces many different architectural aspects and a more lively street level orientation. That's my only complaint. And I just disagree with the view that the urban layout of Brasilia is worthy of praise and should be replicated. I find it interesting that you didn't answer the question and called it a stupid comment. If I'm a 'troll' just ignore me but that won't doesn't take away from the fact that many others in this thread have agreed with me. And Paris also copied a lot from Washington DC. Remember than the Paris we know today was largely built in the 1850s

As for RPFiguereido, your points are valid and I actually like your attention to symbolism. I just completely disagree with Brasilia's symbolic layout that inhibits urbanity. Like you said, "that's fine". It's all a matter of opinion. But let's step outside the lofty world that says 'modernism can do no wrong'. 1) Both the Supreme Court building and the other building look like airport terminals and elementary schools. That doesn't mean they are bad structures but they aren't particularly unique in that sense. 2) The residential area is much nicer than the Political heart but again, it's not unique, 3) I actually like that picture but it still doesn't strike me as either beautiful nor unique. It reminds me a lot of Hawai'i's State Capitol which is particularly noted as one of the least noteworthy US State Capitals. I haven't seen the interior and hopefully the interiors look nice but the exteriors of these buildings don't strike me as unique at all. And yes, I think Niemeyer copied from a lot of cities' urban layouts (excuse me, he "found inspiration" in the layout of Washington among many cities). I agree that Brasilia should be seen through the prism of its construction in the 1960s. Sure, it was genius back then. But we live in 2013 now. Is there no room for debating the city's form 53 years later? If anything Brasilia should provide a good example of how a capital can't be just a hodgepodge of monuments and concrete. Washington had that problem for decades as well and ultimately learned that you need to let the city expand organically for it to prosper. Brasilia appears to still be grounded in this mentality that architectural rigidity should trump a more natural growing of the city. Look at the other 'manmade' capital (Canberra, Abuja, Naypiydaw) and you'll find that none of them are known or embraced.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:30 AM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPFigueiredo View Post
OMG you've got to be kiding me!



Show me any picture that may cause any confusion with this perspective! The simple geometry of the congress is a trademark. Anyone who sees this for 0.1sec knows it's Brasília (of course, if you know the place).
Friend, it looks like any random soccer field with a tall building in the back
image hosted on flickr



image hosted on flickr
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:41 AM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post

As for RPFiguereido, your points are valid and I actually like your attention to symbolism. I just completely disagree with Brasilia's symbolic layout that inhibits urbanity. Like you said, "that's fine". It's all a matter of opinion. But let's step outside the lofty world that says 'modernism can do no wrong'. 1) Both the Supreme Court building and the other building look like airport terminals and elementary schools. That doesn't mean they are bad structures but they aren't particularly unique in that sense. 2) The residential area is much nicer than the Political heart but again, it's not unique, 3) I actually like that picture but it still doesn't strike me as either beautiful nor unique. It reminds me a lot of Hawai'i's State Capitol which is particularly noted as one of the least noteworthy US State Capitals. I haven't seen the interior and hopefully the interiors look nice but the exteriors of these buildings don't strike me as unique at all. And yes, I think Niemeyer copied from a lot of cities' urban layouts (excuse me, he "found inspiration" in the layout of Washington among many cities).
First of all, although this debate has made me very angry (I love the city), I thank you for the oportunity of talking it out, specially in a polite manner which is so rare in here sometimes.

And I thing we misunderstood each other again - modernism can do very wrong, and it has done, specially in urban planning. What I have been trying do do is to show Brasília's aesthetics which set it apart from typical post-war developments which, unlike Brasília, have failed miserably.

I believe, however, the point where we disagree the most regards the buildings themselves. It makes me sad that you don't appreciate the wonders that Niemeyer created to complement Costa's plan (Niemeyer didn't design the layout). In Brasília he create masterpieces of the modern moviment, which are worlds away from the cold soviet architecture that most Americans associate with modernism:

image hosted on flickr







Note how thin the supports are where they touch the ground - that's good architecture, taking advantage of constructive technology in order to create artistic expression.








A brilliant architectural demonstration of figuration and abstraction!

To this day, the Alvorada remains the most succesful example of architecture being used for state representation in the last century. Or should I point out that this wonderful columnata was designed praticaly at the same time as the Palace of the Soviets and Speer's Germania?

Brasília is pure elegance!
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:58 AM   #254
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Quote:
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Friend, it looks like any random soccer field with a tall building in the back
Sorry, the shear scale of the monumental axis tramples any comparison with those pictures...
Kind of saying any picture of a desert with a dune can be mistaken with the pyramids lol.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 03:01 AM   #255
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No, "done" meant I took away the pictures as you requested
Oh, that's ok!

Quote:
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Maybe you need to leave your opinion to UNESCO, to say that the plan of Brasilia is not something innovative or at least different. I do not think the city plan of Brasília completely perfect, but for me it's good enough as it allows a good integration with the current transportation system, space for expansion and lots of green areas.

As for RPFiguereido, your points are valid and I actually like your attention to symbolism. I just completely disagree with Brasilia's symbolic layout that inhibits urbanity. Like you said, "that's fine". It's all a matter of opinion. But let's step outside the lofty world that says 'modernism can do no wrong'. 1) Both the Supreme Court building and the other building look like airport terminals and elementary schools. That doesn't mean they are bad structures but they aren't particularly unique in that sense. 2) The residential area is much nicer than the Political heart but again, it's not unique, 3) I actually like that picture but it still doesn't strike me as either beautiful nor unique. It reminds me a lot of Hawai'i's State Capitol which is particularly noted as one of the least noteworthy US State Capitals. I haven't seen the interior and hopefully the interiors look nice but the exteriors of these buildings don't strike me as unique at all. And yes, I think Niemeyer copied from a lot of cities' urban layouts (excuse me, he "found inspiration" in the layout of Washington among many cities). I agree that Brasilia should be seen through the prism of its construction in the 1960s. Sure, it was genius back then. But we live in 2013 now. Is there no room for debating the city's form 53 years later? If anything Brasilia should provide a good example of how a capital can't be just a hodgepodge of monuments and concrete. Washington had that problem for decades as well and ultimately learned that you need to let the city expand organically for it to prosper. Brasilia appears to still be grounded in this mentality that architectural rigidity should trump a more natural growing of the city. Look at the other 'manmade' capital (Canberra, Abuja, Naypiydaw) and you'll find that none of them are known or embraced.
Everything is in Brasilia involves great symbolism and modernist architecture, which has already been in the fashion world. Like many cities around the world simply do not destroy many buildings although the architecture has evolved, Brasilia also will not.

It's strange to compare a building of a state of 1 million people, with one of the administrative centers of a nation of almost 200 million inhabitants. Besides color I do not see anything similar to the Hawaii State Capitol.

Brasília can not build anything that changes the urban layout in central region (Plano Piloto), to be protected. But the city has many areas of development in the suburbs that are something completely different from Plano Piloto. We have to respect the opinions of each, as I said before Brasilia was a city always very controversial.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 03:01 AM   #256
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Quote:
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First of all, although this debate has made me very angry (I love the city), I thank you for the oportunity of talking it out, specially in a polite manner which is so rare in here sometimes.
Haha, it's okay. all three of my cities get attacked viciously on SSC so I can understand the feeling (Tulsa is "boring", Panama City has "atrocious architecture" and Washington has "no skyscrapers so it must be a terrible place to live"). That said you can take criticism and use it for the better. I still don't think the buildings are 'unique' but I do find them prettier now than before this discussion and I do love the interior shots. But my main disagreement is actually not the buildings but the layout that discourages a thriving cityscape. I think the disagreement is that your focus for the city is based on these monumental buildings whereas I find the focus to be in the streets, in the shops, in a lively streetscape. Brasilia should be a monumental city since it's the capital but it should not make these buildings the locus of the city's identity. I know you hate me bringing up DC but here's DC in 1860



It was a few big monuments and a really crappy everything else. It had one of the most beautiful capitols in the world and a whooping (sarcasm) 75,000 people. So while it had a bunch of monuments, no American wanted to live there. It was a city grounded in these majestic structures yet it lacked something that made it special. It wasn't until the late 1930s that DC began to grow and evolve. Instead of the city being grounded in its monuments, it became a city of neighborhoods (Georgetown, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, U Street, Shaw, Atlas, Capitol Hill, Anacostia, Tenleytown). Each part of the city was encouraged to create its own identity. That attracted different demographics to different districts. Educated people were drawn to Georgetown, alcoholics to Adams Morgan, Hispanics to Columbia Heights, professional to Capitol Hill, freedmen blacks to Anacostia, etc. The city's identity shifted from a city of monuments and nothing else to a city of different peoples with amazing monuments to boot. Brasilia is still in that phase where the buildings are the focus and hasn't yet shifted to the phase where the streets/the neighborhoods/the people are the focus. Cities like London, Paris, New York, Tokyo are cities of districts. People from Tokyo live in a great city not because it has pretty buildings (it doesn't) but because it has a pulse, it has a vibrancy, it has a vitality that draws Japanese from Sapporo to Kyushu to go to Tokyo to reach their full potential. Same for New York, or London or Paris. Now Brasilia is a young city so it's unfair for me to compare it to the greatest cities in the world. But what I'm getting at is that instead of acting complacement and proving how Brasilia is elegant, unique, etc. Brasilia should aspire to further urbanity to the point where you won't have to convince anybody. Look at Rio. Rio has many many problems! But Rio has a brand and it has a vibrancy that attracts people from around the world to visit it. Brasilia should aspire for that vibrancy. Becoming complacent and content with what Brasilia already has is not the right step for the city.

It's the same criticism I have for Canberra, for Ottawa, for Ankara, for Naypyidaw, for Frankfort (Kentucky), for Salem (Oregon). It's not a criticism that is just used against Brasilia. Salem, Oregon has one of the most idiosyncratic and uglies state capitals (Here's a pic) and suffers from a lack of street-level activity as well
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Last edited by Manitopiaaa; April 14th, 2013 at 03:13 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 03:07 AM   #257
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Fair enough. But I love the classical perspectives of the plan, the balanced layout with green wings. The monumental axis may discourage the thriving cityscape, but the residential quarters more than make up for it.

But I do love the esplanade. What people interpret as over-simplicity or commy blocks, I see as a rest (like a musical pause) before the fireworks that is the Square of the Three Powers. And the prismatic buildings in the older quadras are charming. The 1970s and 80s towers they built in the centre are, in fact, horrendous and could be anywhere in the world.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 03:10 AM   #258
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I already gave my vote and only have a few missing tallest buildings = 9,5
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Old April 14th, 2013, 03:45 AM   #259
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Gotcha. You are right, Brasília is too young. But the neighbourhood effect has started in Brasília as well - most of its inhabitants live in satellite cities around the Plano Piloto (the main plan). As pointed out, one of the issues of Brasília is the fact that it can't grow organically. It was meant for 500,000 and that's it. This was even criticized by the jury that selected the design (it was a competition), which was the only one that could represent a capital. Needless to say, these satellite cities cause huge transport issues...

These satellite cities are much more traditional. But Brasília is vibrant, though it may not look like it. As I said above, the superquadras are lovely at sunset!
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Old April 16th, 2013, 04:26 AM   #260
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