Goiânia is a planned city founded on October 24, 1933 by Pedro Ludovico, the governor of the state at the time. It is located on a fertile plain criss-crossed by numerous rivers, the most important being the Meia Ponte River. Goiânia is located at the geographic coordinates of 16°40' S, 49°15' W. The total area of the municipality, as of 2002, was 739.5 km² (285 sq mi).
Santa Genoveva National Airport connects Goiânia with many Brazilian cities.
The city is home to the Federal University of Goiás.
Legislators kept the idea of a change alive for a long time. In 1891 the constitutional delegates made the idea of the transfer of the capital official including it in the constitution, ratifying it in 1898 and later in 1918.
Vaguely remembered until 1930, the idea of a change only became reality during the government of Pedro Ludovico, who was the new governor appointed for the state of Goiás after the military revolt of 1930. In 1932 a commission was created to choose the place where the new capital would be built. In 1933 the commission decided on the present location and the foundation stone was erected.
The plan was for a city of 50,000 with the shape of a concentric radius – streets in the form of a spoke, with the Praça Cívica as the center, with the seats of the state and municipal government – The Palace of Emeralds and the Palace of Campinas.
In 1937 a decree was signed transferring the state capital from the Cidade de Goiás to Goiânia. The official inauguration only occurred in 1942 with the presence of the president of the republic, governors, and ministers.
The name, Goiânia, came about in 1933 after a contest was put on by a local newspaper. Readers from all over the state contributed, with some of the most voted names being Petrônia, Americana, Petrolândia, Goianópolis, Goiânia, Bartolomeu Bueno, Campanha, Eldorado, Anhanguera, Liberdade, Goianésia, and Pátria Nova, among others. In 1935 Pedro Ludovico used the name Goiânia for the first time signing a decree creating the municipio of Goiânia.
Today the economy of Goiania is based on various industries; primarily the economy finds its roots based in the Agricultural industry thriving in and around the city. The supplying of equipment, tools, fertilizer and all various agriculture products make up a large portion of the city industries.
Second to Agriculture is the motor trade industry. Sales, Repairs and reconditioning of motorcycles and general vehicles is very wide spread and visible in all areas of the city.
The Third Largest contributor to the economy is that of the Government civil service. As Goiania is the State Capital of Goias, it thus is home to many various Federal and State civil service agencies and provides a large number of jobs to the population.
It must be noted that in recent years the Telecommunication and IT industry have begun to expand into Goiania and one now find many large Brazilian companies setting up offices in the city of Goiania.
The GDP for the city was R$ 13,354,065,000 (2005).
The per capita income for the city was R$ 11,119 (2005).
Railway connections were never developed and all transportation of goods is carried out by highway. The main airport is the Santa Genoveva, which provides flights to major cities in Brazil. Modernization work is underway to construct a new runway and terminal to handle the growing number of air passenger in and out of Goiânia.
Anhagüera, one of the largest avenues in the city, went through a major reform in the late 1990s that provided it with an exclusive bus lane through all of its extension. The lane, however, is located on the center of the avenue, giving it a distinct look. Other avenues also have exclusive lanes for buses. Unlike most Brazilian cities, there are no ticket collectors on the buses in Goiânia; all the fares are collected using cards and electronic turnstiles.
The city has one of the largest numbers of cars per person in the country, which causes large traffic problems. It also has one of the largest numbers of motorcycles per person, including moto-taxis, which are controlled by the city government.
Goiânia is a sprawling city with numerous skyscrapers (see Photos of Goiânia for photos) dominating the center and one-floor family homes spreading out across the verdant tree-covered plain. Many of the streets are lined with tropical fruit trees and there are many parks with remnants of the original tropical vegetation. Thirty percent of the city area is planted in trees—3.75 of the 11 square km. The most important of these parks are the Parque Zoologico, Parque Vaca Brava, Parque Ecológico, Bosque dos Buritis and Parque Areião. In these places, refreshing lakes, vast vegetation and the sound of birds and animals can be appreciated. In Parque Areião there are still monkeys native to the area. Almost all of the parks are surrounded by walking paths. Approximately 30% of the city Goiania, the capital of Goiás, is green, with forests, avenues and parks. One of the biggest parks is the Bosque dos Buritis with an area of 140 000 square metres with many of the ‘buriti’ palm trees, which have a yellow fruit.
Goiania is famous for being the ‘spring capital’ and was planned as a modern city, growing outside from the centre. In the starting years this building plan worked well, but through the quick growth the plan was not followed to the letters,with the exception of the green areas, causing severe infrastruture problems in some areas such as public transport and health care system.
In the Bosque dos Buritis one finds the Monument for World Peace, designed by Siron Franco. This monument contains a 7 metre high ampoule with walls of glass and the soil of more than 50 countries from all over the world. Every year on World Environment Day there will be scattered soil of a new country added.
Another attraction is the Chico Mendes Botanic Garden (s), where trees and flowers like bromelia’s, orchids, fruit trees and a lake can be found.
Created in 1946, it contains over one thousand animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Five streams have their source in the park, which, besides the Zoo itself, also contains the Horto Florestal and the Lago das Rosas (Lake of Roses). The park is located in the Setor Oeste, one of the richest and most beautiful residencial areas of Goiânia.
Every day at dawn hundreds of people begin their daily activities by walking or jogging along the sidewalk that encloses Parque Vaca Brava. It has an area of 18,000 square meters and contains a lake, a forest with native species and places for exercise. Vaca Brava (which could be roughly translated as Angry Cow) has become a symbol of the new thriving area of the Setor Bueno, which has flourished in the past decades and is now one of the most important zones of Goiânia.
Goiânia is home to one of the most important rock scenes from Brazil. It has started in the early 90s, with the creation of the first independent rock festivals in the city. Indie Labels like Monstro Discos, Two Beers or Not Two Beers and Insetus flourished and have been crucial to support and broadcast the scene, which, due to the fact of being completely independent from the mainstream media, sometimes is not known even to native Goianienses. The main styles are Alternative or Indie rock represented by bands like MQN, Violins, Hang The Superstars, Valentina, NEM, Réu e Condenado, Fantasma de Agnes and Flores Indecentes; punk and hardcore by bands like Desastre, Vacilo, Resistentes, Descarga Negativa, Señores, Umbral and HC-137 and metal with bands like Ressonância Mórfica (unlike most Metal bands they sing in archaic Portuguese) Spiritual Carnage, Eternal Devastation and Euphonia. There are currently two major independent festivals held in the city, Bananada (usually held in May) and Goiânia Noise (usually in December). It is interesting to notice that Goiânia, as the capital of a rural state, has been traditionally influenced by the sertanejo style, strongly connected with the country lifestyle. Though the sertanejo is still an icon of Goiás' culture, the rock scene is seen by some as a response to it, and Goiânia is now a leading center in the underground rock movement in Brazil.
(Data are from 2000)