Brazil is home to two large metropolises: São Paulo with close to 11.9 million inhabitants and Rio de Janeiro with around 6.5 million inhabitants. It also contains a number of smaller, but well known cities such as Brasília, Curitiba and many others, which report between 2 and 3 million inhabitants each. As a result, the country is primarily urban and as of 2014, 85 percent of inhabitants were living in cities.
While smaller than some of the other cities, Brasília was chosen to be the capital because of its relatively central location. The city is also well-known for its modernist architecture and utopian city plan which is quite controversial - criticized by many and praised by others.
A number of Brazil’s medium-sized and large cities were chosen as venues for the 2014 World Cup, and the 2015 Summer Olympics also took place in Rio de Janeiro. Both of these events have generated large sums of money to support infrastructure and enhance mobility within a number of different cities across the country. Billions of dollars were spent on the 2014 World Cup, which went primarily to stadium construction and renovation, but also to a number of different mobility projects. Other short-term spending on infrastructure for the World Cup and the Rio Olympic Games is estimated at around 50 billion U.S. dollars. While these events have poured a lot of money into urban infrastructure, a number of social and economic problems within the country remain unsolved, and these problems are starting to bubble to the surface. It remains to be seen if they cause trouble for the country after these two huge events are over.