The word ‘Brasília’ can mean many different things:
- administratively, Brasilia is only one of the Administrative Regions of the Federal District. ‘Asa Sul’ ( Southern Wing ), ‘Asa Norte’ ( Northern Wing ) and the downtown area of ‘Plano Piloto’ ( Pilot Plan ) are parts of it;
- to some, Brasilia is everything which was in the original urban plan; nowadays that is divided into three administrative regions: ‘Brasilia’ ( as above ), ‘Lago Sul’ ( South Lake ) and ‘Lago Norte’ ( North Lake );
- for many of the Federal District’s inhabitants, Brasilia would include all of the above plus one more administrative region, ‘Cruzeiro’ ( which is itself subdivided into four areas – ‘Cruzeiro Velho’, ‘Cruzeiro Novo’, ‘Octogonal’ and ‘Sudoeste’ ). For those people, ‘Cruzeiro’ is not a satellite town. Note: for some people, ‘Octogonal’ and ‘Sudoeste’ are part of Brasilia, but ‘Cruzeiro Velho’ and ‘Cruzeiro Novo’ are not. My personal opinion is that this does not make sense, as the four areas are contiguous;
- ‘Brasilia’ is also used to mean both the ‘Plano Piloto’ and all satellite cities. In this case, the urban nuclei of all the Administrative Regions of the Federal District would be included.
Planned for only 500,000 inhabitants, Brasilia has seen its population grow much more than expected. Several satellite towns have been created over the years to house the extra inhabitants. Brasilia’s total population ( including the satellite cities ) is now over 2,000,000 inhabitants.