At that time the city was experiencing a considerable industrial expansion that increased its commercial and service sectors. Obviously, the city's original planners did not count on its ongoing population growth, which proved especially intense in the last 20 years of the 20th century. In the s, a young Oscar Niemeyer designed the Pampulha Neighbourhood to great acclaim, a commission he got thanks to then-mayor and soon-to-be-president Juscelino Kubitschek. These two men are largely responsible for the wide avenues , large lakes, parks and jutting skylines that characterize the city today.
Belo Horizonte is fast becoming a regional center of commerce. The Latin American Research and development center of Google, situated in Belo Horizonte, was responsible for the management and operation of the former social networking website Orkut.
It continues to be a trendsetter in the arts, particularly where music, literature, architecture and the avant-garde are concerned. The legally defined Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte consists of 34 municipalities in total, and a population of around five million inhabitants as of [update] , according to IBGE. The intense process of urbanization that is taking place in the metropolitan region has made some of the political boundaries between municipalities in the region obsolete. Belo Horizonte lies on a region of contact between different geological series of the Proterozoic.
The geology largely comprises crystalline rocks , which give rise to the varied morphology of the landscape. It is located in a large geological unit known as the craton of San Francisco , referring to extensive crustal nucleus of central-eastern Brazil, tectonically stable at the end of the Paleoproterozoic and bordering areas that suffered the regeneration at the Neoproterozoic.
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The archean rocks members of Belo Horizonte complex and supracrustal sequences of the Paleoproterozoic is predominant. The characteristics of this area are lithological diversities and rugged topography, which has its maximum expression in the Serra do Curral Corral Ridge , the southern boundary of the municipality.
Its soil comprises a succession of layers of rocks of varied composition, represented by itabirite, dolomite , quartzite , filities and schists different from the general direction northwest-southeast and dip to the southeast. A centre for conservation and preservation of animals and plants it has also developed environmental education projects. The Zoo, which encompasses a total area of 1. It has a collection of close to animals representing species, from Brazil and other parts of the world, as well as the first public butterfly sanctuary in South America.
The city contains the hectares acres Baleia State Park , created in but still not implemented as of Belo Horizonte's latitude at 19'55"South places it in the tropical zone. Even though inter-seasonal differences are not as pronounced as they are in temperate places, there is a contrast between spring and summer, and between fall and winter.
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The hottest month is usually January, with a highest recorded temperature of Belo Horizonte's climate is mild throughout the year. Winter is dry and mostly sunny, and summer is rainy. In , the city had , opposite-sex couples and 1, same-sex couples. The population of Belo Horizonte was The city is the 6th most populous of the country.
During the 18th century, Minas Gerais received many Portuguese immigrants, mainly from Northern Portugal as well as many enslaved Africans. Source: IBGE The human development of Belo Horizonte varies greatly by locality, reflecting the city's spatial social inequality and vast socioeconomic inequalities.
There are neighborhoods that had very high human development indexes in equal to or greater than the indexes of some Scandinavian countries , but those in the lower range in line with, for example, North Africa. In , under mayor Patrus Ananias de Souza, the city started a series of innovations based on its citizens having the " right to food ". These include, for example, creating farmers' markets in the town to enable direct sales and regularly surveying market prices and posting the results across the city.
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The city has undertaken an internationally heralded project called Vila Viva "Living Village" in Portuguese that promises to "urbanize" the poorest areas favelas , relocating families from areas with high risk of floods and landslides but keeping them in the same neighborhood, paving main avenues to allow public transportation, police and postal service to have access.
Belo Horizonte receives large numbers of visitors, as it is in the Brazilian main economic axis, exerting influence even on other states. Multinational and Brazilian companies, such as Google and Oi , maintain offices in the city. Belo Horizonte has a developed industrial sector, being traditionally a hub of the Brazilian siderurgical and metallurgical industries, as the state of Minas Gerais has always been very rich in minerals , specifically iron ore.
Belo Horizonte is the distribution and processing centre of a rich agricultural and mining region and the nucleus of a burgeoning industrial complex. Production is centred on steel, steel products, automobiles , and textiles. Gold, manganese , and gemstones mined in the surrounding region are processed in the city. Multinational companies like FIAT which opened its plant in Betim in , Arcelor , and Toshiba have subsidiaries in the region, along with other textile like Group Rachelle Textil, Ematex and Cedro Textil, cosmetic , food, chemicals , pharmaceuticals , furnishing and refractory companies.
Leading steel product makers Sumitomo Metals of Japan and Vallourec of France have also plans to construct an integrated steel works on the outskirts of the city.
There are also a large number of small enterprises in the technological sector with regional to nationwide success, particularly in the fields of computing and biotechonology. Because of both governmental and private funding in the diversification of its economy, the city has become an international reference in Information Technology and Biotechnology , and is also cited because of the advanced corporate and university research in Biodiesel fuel.
Projects in these fields are likely to expand because of integration between universities, the oil company Petrobras and the Brazilian Government. One of the largest events that ever took place in the city, the Inter-American Development Bank meeting, occurred in and attracted people from everywhere in the world. For a long time it was marked by the predominance of its industrial sector , but from the s there has been a constant expansion of the service sector economy, particularly in computer science , biotechnology , business tourism , fashion and the making of jewelry.
The city is considered to be a strategic leader in the Brazilian economy. The move towards business tourism transformed the capital into a national hub for this segment of the tourist industry. Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools.
Schools are required to offer at least one foreign language, English and Spanish being the most common. The city is connected to the rest of Minas Gerais state and the country by a number of roadways. Minas Gerais has the country's largest federal highway network. There is also an East-West Express Way, which goes from the city to the nearby industrial centres of Contagem and Betim together having a population of ca. Many of these roads are in poor condition, but in the last years many revitalization and rebuilding projects have been started.
Among the upcoming projects are the expansion of the integration between bus lines and the metro , with integrated stations, many already in use. And the construction of bus corridors, with lanes and bus stops exclusively for the bus lines. Keeping buses from traffic congestions, making the trips more viable for commuters. There is one line, with 19 stations, from Vilarinho to Eldorado Station, in Contagem , transporting over , people daily.
The current projects of expansion include Line 2, linking the existing Calafate Station to the region of Barreiro.
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Also, Line 1 is planned to be extended to Novo Eldorado Station. The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Belo Horizonte, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 85 min. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 8.
This attracts artists from all over Brazil and worldwide. Produced every two years, under responsibility from the Belo Horizonte City Hall , through the Municipal Culture Office and the Association Movimento Teatro de Grupo of Minas Gerais, in the program there are street and stage shows, and also seminars, workshops, courses, talks, etc. The Annual Campaign for the Popularisation of Theatre takes place every year in January and February, offering dozens of plays in theatres all over the city at affordable prices.
Several notable artistic groups originated in Belo Horizonte. Grupo Corpo , which is perhaps the most famous contemporary dance group in the country, was formed in the city in The program presents groups from Belo Horizonte.
For this project the priority invitations go to the shows created by groups and choreographers living in the city. The purpose is to take shows and other activities such as workshops, talks and video screenings to the less privileged regions of the city regarding access to cultural assets. Clube da Esquina is one of the most important musical movements in the musical history of Brazil.
It originated in the mids, and since then its members have been hugely influential in Brazilian and even international music, some like Milton Nascimento and Toninho Horta achieving worldwide acclaim. The band Uakti — known for performing with self-built musical instruments — originated in Belo Horizonte under the influence of Walter Smetak and the Composition School from Bahia. In later years, Belo Horizonte has been more frequently included in Brazilian tours of foreign mainstream and independent acts. Belo Horizonte is also known as the Brazilian Capital of Metal, hence the huge number of heavy metal bands and the likes founded there, especially in the s.
The puppet theatre group Giramundo was established here in , and continues to maintain a puppetry museum hosting a collection of their creations. The proposal, according to the Circuit manager, Cristiana Kumaira, is to strengthen the circuit in the world cultural context.
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After they had been adapted, the old department buildings opened their doors and began to house museums and cultural spaces. According to Kumaira, this public-private partnership model allows large companies to participate and effectively contribute to the cultural advance of the city.
Created during the 20th century, the craftsman Raimundo Machado, synchronizes figures, distributed in 45 scenes, which tell the story of life and death of Jesus, mixed with its variety of arts and crafts. For 30 years, the mission of the MHN-JB has been to do research, to educate, and to meet the community's demand for service. It comprises three theaters, three art galleries, a movie theater, a bookstore a coffee shop and photography exhibition space.
It offers high quality programs for the several expressions in arts. The building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, commissioned by the then mayor and future president of Brazil Juscelino Kubitschek in the early s, with external grounds by landscaper Roberto Burle Marx. The building was the first project of Oscar Niemeyer, opened as a casino, and closed in In , it was re-opened as the Art Museum.
His design was influenced by the principles of Le Corbusier. The gardens of Burle Marx are an tribute to the tropical green. The MAP has an impressive collection of 1. Belo Horizonte has several significant cultural landmarks, many of them situated in the Pampulha district, where there are notable examples of Brazilian contemporary architecture. It is at the Pampulha complex that one can see the routes of this new architecture movement.
The modern and protomodern architecture can also be seen all over Belo Horizonte, either in emblematic 's buildings such as Edificio Acaiaca, Conjunto JK, Hotel Amazonas  and former Hotel Excelsior,  all reflecting the modernity culture of the first planned capital of Brazil. In Pampulha there is also the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais campus, whose buildings themselves are important contributions to the city's architecture. Other notable buildings include the Mesbla and Niemeyer buildings, in addition to the headquarters of corporations such as Usiminas , Seculus, and Telemig Celular.
Next to the downtown region is the Savassi district, known for fine restaurants and as a centre of cultural events as well as the best of the city's nightlife.