Apparently, it was in the finishing stages of construction when for unknown reasons (the wind and some rain is being blamed to clear the construction company’s name), it came crashing down today at 2pm. There are reports, most likely unconfirmed, that 20 people died and that the other buildings next to it are feared to be at risk as well. It took place in a noble area of the city, the Nazaré district…which I’ve walked through many times.
Globo (the only time the North gets on the front page)
There’s a video that’s short but great floating around Youtube with a soundtrack by Metrô singing Johnny Love. The video gives a glimpse of Brasilia and the satellite cities surrounding it back in ’67.
Some of the info translated from the sidebar of the video…
“By car, it’s possible to drive all the way through the city, from the Southern entrance to the end of the North Wing without even seeing a stoplight whatsoever. Every step of the way is completely lined with trees, from where one sees the line of the horizon: the city is plain and the buildings have, in the maximum, six floors. Aside from this, the air in Brasilia is pure because there aren’t any heavy industries around.
But this style of life is enjoyed by those who live in the centralized area called the Plano Piloto, which has too high of a cost for most of the population who live on the outskirts. While the city possesses close to one car for every two people (the highest index in the country), its collective transport business is four times smaller in size than other cities of the same population. This small index, which makes buying a ticket to ride the bus in Brasilia one of the most expensive throughout the country, owes itself to the large distances between the satellite cities, where 90% of the population live, and the Plano Piloto. The latter concentrates 77% of all jobs in the Capital, according to a survey done by the Ministry of Labor in 1999.”
For a firsthand account (in PT) of someone who helped build Brasilia, check out part 1 and part 2 of this video from 1959.