Super Quadras - Brasilia
Photos of Brasilia
In the original Lucio Costa's plan, the residents of Brasilia would live in large blocks called Super Quadras. Each Super Quadra should be autonomous, with their own school, play grounds and commercial areas; the idea was that no one would need to go away from home for their basic needs (and if they ever needed, they should have an efficient transportation system at disposal).
Check out this aerial map of a Super Quadra in Brasília.
While some of Costa's ideas were implemented, the fast and excessive growth of Brasilia imposed some adjustments.
Each super quadra has room for eleven six-story buildings (several quadras have space left). Between super quadras, there is a commercial sector. All super quadras have plenty of green area and playgrounds.
However, only a few super quadras have schools, churches, clubs. Most residents of superquadras belong to the middle class and, rather than using the services within the block (if existant at all), they prefer going for better schools, leisure and shopping.
Even though buildings must follow the same external design (six floors on pilotis), there are extreme variations in internal conditions.
The older buildings date back to the 1960s. Some have been constantly refurbished over the decades, and are in good shape; the apartments in these buildings (which were supposed to be used by the dignitaries of the Repubic) are very spacious, and rank amongst the most expensive in Brazil. Others, however, were not properly maintained, and are subject to infrastructure problems; this is the case, for example, of some of the many apartments which still belong to the Federal Administration, which have suffered with the tightening of maintenance budget.