Author | Eduardo Bravo“You may or may not like the city, but you can never say you have ever seen anything like it before.” This is how Oscar Niemeyer, the creator together with the urban planner, Lúcio Costa, defined Brasilia.Located on the region called the Central Planalto in Brazil, on the shores of the Lake Paranoá and between the parallels 15 and 20 -as St John Bosco predicted, when a revelation had told him that the future civilisation would settle there-, Brasilia is the only city built in the 20th century to be declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.The reasons for this are its unusual architecture and innovative urban planning, designed to facilitate life for its inhabitants. Features that allow it to be classed as one of the first smart cities of the world, despite this term not even existing when it was built.In reality, the urban planning ideas that inspired Brasilia were outlined a few years before it was built. Specifically in 1933, when the Athens Charter was drafted. This document, which emerged from the 4th International Congress of Modern Architecture, included the features that cities should have in order to be more habitable. Things that seem obvious today, such as building properties taking into account sunlight, topography, green areas and the distance between blocks in order to prevent overcrowding and reducing unhealthy lifestyles.The Athens Charter also defended zoning the urban area, dividing it based on use, so properties would be located away from large urban roads and industrial areas and near to green areas and recreational areas.
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Brasilia, the smart city of the past
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