In 1973 the NDC was created to replace the ailing Federal District Commission (FDC), which had been created in 1959, and the even earlier Ottawa Improvement Commission. The NDC was created to replace the FDC because the latter had repeatedly failed to provide a proper plan for the National Capital Region who had demolished entire city neighbourhoods for construction that was never realized.
The NDC operated under a very strict but secret mandate of creating a modern Utopian city worthy of being a nation’s capital under a working codename “Dreamtown”. The NDC modelled its capital plans for Dreamtown after the successful design of Brasilia, the modernist federal capital of Brazil built in 1960.
Regions of Ottawa and Gatineau were designated for political and administrative activities using structures of oversized scales, broad vistas and heights, producing the idea of Monumentality. Plans were underway to create various “axis” of function, such as the The Residential Axis for local commerce, schooling, recreation and churches.
One of the main objectives of the never realized NDC plan was to allow the free flow of automobile traffic, and public transit in and around a modernist city utilizing the latest in 1970s architectural and technological advancements. Complete neighbourhoods and buildings were designed entirely by computers using input of various variables to create the “perfectly computer designed city possible”.