Appraising Brasília -How does this planned city rate?

I had been long been fascinated by the architecture, the structure, the layout and its impact on the people who call Brasilia home. Some people say its a success and others warn of its  failures.

Brasilia is the 160th city over 100 000  people I have visited. And I have rated every city and update the ratings regularly!!! (ESFJ personality). These ratings are based on my perceptions and experiences.


Overall Rating out of 100
I gave Brasília an overall score of 81.4 per cent. This gives it  74th place out of the 160th cities I have visited. Bizarrely , Canberra, the planned capital city of Australia also ranks 74th in the same list with the same score of 81.4 per cent.  I promise no manipulation. 

At President’s Palace

Aesthetics – 7th place
Aesthetically Brasilia is stunning with the nice setting, beautiful lake and the amazing Oscar Niemeyer architecture set amongst greened landscapes. I found much of the “Memorial spaces” too grand and daunting.  They seem to reduce the significance of humanity within them.

Culturally – 92nd place
For a capital Brasilia needs more. It is beaten in this area by 91 of the cities I have been to. More festivals, more museums, more displays and more theatre are needed. While I was there, the grassed area on Monumental Axis was being used by a sporting event. This should happen more often.

Safety-153rd out of 160
The crime rate of Brasília is very high but I didn’t feel unsafe- was I lucky or careful?  I was more cautious than I would be in other cities. Walking at night, in the evening was weird as the streets around the hotel zones were largely empty of people. There were plenty of people in the nearby shopping mall, however,

Public Transportation – 117th

While the road network is amazing, for a city of 2.5 million, transport in Brasília is woefully inadequate. The buses are very extensive and seem frequent in the day. However,  information about transport is impossible too access, the system isn’t cheap, ticketing is not yet integrated and infrastructure underdeveloped. Things will improve if/when the metro is extended and the light rail opens in 2014. Canberra’s Public Transit system is actually worse with less of a bus network and no metro/light rail. Biking is better in Canberra with good cycle paths.

Atmosphere and Vibe – 12th
There is a vibe about Brasília that beats across the city. Going thru city parks, shopping and market crowds and  in the bars. I found more pride in Brasilia than I do in Canberra, Australia.

Living there – 44th
All the people I met who lived in  Brasília liked it,..in fact many loved living there. They were concerns at the soaring house prices which puts much of the city out of the reach of middle class Brazilians and no hope for the poor. Housing is a serious social problem which needs to be fixed.

All in all, Brasília is a Good city. But to my mind, a planned city in a great country looking toward a great future,  needs to be a great city.

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