The city is a world reference for urban planning. The locating of residential buildings around expansive urban areas, of building the city around large avenues and dividing it into sectors, has sparked a debate and reflection on life in big cities in the 20th century. The city's planned design included specific areas for almost everything, including accommodation, Hotel Sectors North and South. However, new areas are now being developed as locations for hotels, such as the Hotels and Tourism Sector North, located on the shores of Lake Paranoá.
President Juscelino Kubitschek ordered the construction of Brasília, fulfilling an article of the country's constitution dating back to 1891 stating that the capital should be moved from Rio de Janeiro to a place close to the center of the country. Lúcio Costa won a contest and was the main urban planner. Oscar Niemeyer, a close friend of Lúcio's, was the chief architect of most public buildings and Roberto Burle Marx was the landscape designer. Brasília was built in 41 months, from 1956 to April 21, 1960, when it was officially inaugurated.
The Brazilian capital is the only city in the world built in the 20th century to be awarded (in 1987) the status of Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, a specialized agency of the United Nations. It also holds the distinction of waiting the shortest amount of time to be designated a World Heritage Site of any UNESCO entry, which occurred just 27 years after its completion in 1960.