National Geographic : 1960 May
HUMBERTOFRANCESCHI Newcomers set up housekeeping as Brasilia comes to life. Their spacious flat overlooks an unfinished apartment building. Planners predict some 10,000 government workers will have moved to the inland capital by the end of this year. irrepressible cariocas have been calling their beloved city Velhacap, an abbreviation for "old capital." In the first place, Rio will cease to be the capital of Brazil only gradually. Once the core of the government has been moved, there is no further need to hurry. Rio's Light Will Not Be Dimmed Actually, I believe that during the next few years the country will have, in effect, two capitals, and key officials will shuttle back and forth. But even when Brasilia as sumes its full status, it will not necessarily mean a loss of importance for Rio. 724 In fact, with 3,000,000 people crowded be- tween the mountains and the sea, Rio has become impossibly congested. Moving the government will make available desperately needed downtown office space, and private firms are already bidding for this. In a larger sense, Rio will never cease to be a capital. A tangle of factories and as sembly plants, a distribution center and trans portation terminal, the city will remain the country's cultural and entertainment heart and its main tourist attraction. Thus Brazil has given itself a new capital without giving up the old one. In the process, the nation has gained a fierce pride in its capacity to make its slogan "country of the future" come true in the present.