Brasília (Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾaˈziljɐ]) is the federal capital of Brazil and seat of government of the Federal District. The city is atop the Brazilian highlands in the country's center-western region. It was founded on April 21, 1960, to serve as the new national capital. Brasília and its metro (encompassing the Federal District) had a population of 2,556,149 in 2011, making it Brazil's 4th most populous city. Among major Latin American cities, Brasília has the highest GDP per capita at R$61,915 (US$36,175).
Brasília was planned and developed by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in 1956 to move the capital from Rio de Janeiro to a more central location. The landscape architect was Roberto Burle Marx. The city's design divides it into numbered blocks as well as sectors for specified activities, such as the Hotel Sector, the Banking Sector and the Embassy Sector. Brasília was chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its modernist architecture and uniquely artistic urban planning.
The centers of all three branches of the federal government of Brazil are in Brasília, including the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. The city also hosts 124 foreign embassies. Brasília International Airport connects the capital to all major Brazilian cities and many international destinations, and is the third busiest airport in Brazil.
The city has a unique status in Brazil, as it is an administrative division rather than a legal municipality like other cities in Brazil, similar to Washington, D.C. in the United States, Mexico D.F. in Mexico, and Canberra in Australia. The name 'Brasília' is commonly used as a synonym for the Federal District through synecdoche; However, the Federal District is composed of 31 administrative regions, only one of which is Brasília proper, with a population of 214,529 in a 2012 survey; Demographic publications generally do not make this distinction and list the population of Brasília as synonymous with the population of the Federal District, considering the whole as a single city (as Washington, DC), as it was legally before the creation of administrative regions in 1964. For municipal purposes in Brazil, the Federal District is treated as a city-state, single municipality (Brasília), most easily seen in vehicle plates. The city was one of the main host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Brasília also hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
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