Office towers overlook Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. These offices are part of the Brazilian Congress. Praça dos Três Poderes, which means Three Powers Plaza, is the home to Brazil's legislature, president, and Supreme Court.

Photograph by William Albert Allard
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    On April 21, 1960, Brazilians welcomed a new capital, Brasilia. Brasilia was a planned city, meaning it was specifically developed to be the capital of Brazil. It took architects, engineers, and city planners four years to build Brasilia.
    Brazil's previous capital, Rio de Janeiro, was a crowded, coastal city. Rio’s design slowed government work because buildings were located far apart from one another and traffic was heavy. Brasilia, on the other hand, is neatly divided into numbered blocks and sections. Different sections were developed for different activities, such as government, banking, or embassies. Brasilia was also constructed in the country’s interior, to spur development there. 
    Today, in addition to being the legislative center of Brazil, Brasilia is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its modernist architecture.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    architect Noun

    person who designs buildings or other large structures.

    business Noun

    sale of goods and services, or a place where such sales take place.

    capital Noun

    city where a region's government is located.

    Encyclopedic Entry: capital
    city planner Noun

    person who plans the physical design and zoning of an urban center.

    construct Verb

    to build or erect.

    development Noun

    construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.

    engineer Noun

    person who plans the building of things, such as structures (construction engineer) or substances (chemical engineer).

    federal Adjective

    having to do with a nation's government (as opposed to local or regional government).

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    legislature Noun

    group of people, usually elected, who make and change laws.

    previous Adjective

    earlier, or the one before.

    specific Adjective

    exact or precise.

    spur Verb

    to encourage or move forward.

    traffic Noun

    movement of many things, often vehicles, in a specific area.

    UNESCO Noun

    the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

    Encyclopedic Entry: UNESCO
    unique Adjective

    one of a kind.

    World Heritage Site Noun

    location recognized by the United Nations as important to the cultural or natural heritage of humanity.