Governing entities sometimes plan, design and build new capital cities to house the seat of government of a polity or of a subdivision. Deliberately planned and designed capitals include:
- Gaborone, Botswana (1964)
- La Plata, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
- Abuja, Nigeria (1991)
- Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil (1855)
- Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, India (2016)
- Nava Raipur or Atalnagar , Chhattisgarh, India (2003)
- Habibganj, Madhya Pradesh, India (2013)
- Ankara, Turkey (1923)
- Austin, Texas, USA (1839)
- Belmopan, Belize (1970)
- Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil (1897)
- Brasília, Brazil (1960)
- Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India (1948)
- Bireuen, Aceh, Indonesia (1948)
- Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia (1948)
- North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara, East Borneo, Indonesia (2019)
- Constantinople, Roman Empire (324-330)
- Canberra, Australia (1927)
- Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, India (1966)
- Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India (1960)
- Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil (1933)
- Indianapolis, Indiana, USA (1825)
- Islamabad, Pakistan (1960)
- Frankfort, Kentucky, USA (1792)
- Jefferson City, Missouri, USA (1821)
- Naypyidaw, Burma (2005-2006)
- New Delhi, India (1911)
- Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan (1997)
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA (1889)
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (1857)
- Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil (1989)
- Quezon City, Philippines (1948–76)
- Raleigh, North Carolina, USA (1792)
- Valletta, Malta (1571)
- Washington, D.C., USA (1800)
- Yogyakarta, Indonesia (1946)
These cities satisfy one or both of the following criteria:
- A deliberately planned city that was built expressly to house the seat of government, superseding a capital city that was in an established population center. There have been various reasons for this, including overcrowding in that major metropolitan area, and the desire to place the capital city in a location with a better climate (usually a less tropical one).
- A town that was chosen as a compromise among two or more cities (or other political divisions), none of which was willing to concede to the other(s) the privilege of being the capital city. Usually, the new capital is geographically located roughly equidistant between the competing population centres.
Some examples of the second situation (compromise locations) include:
- Canberra, Australia, chosen as a compromise located between Melbourne and Sydney.
- Washington, D.C., United States, founded as a compromise between more urbanized Northern states and agrarian Southern "slave states" to share national power. This is called the Compromise of 1790, resulting in the passage of the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River on land ceded from Maryland and Virginia.
- Frankfort, Kentucky, midway between Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky.
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, located along the boundary between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec – the two most populous of the ten provinces – and midway between their respective provincial capitals, Toronto, Ontario and Quebec City, Quebec.
- Tallahassee, Florida, chosen as the midpoint between Pensacola and St. Augustine, Florida - then the two largest cities in Florida.
- Wellington became the capital city of New Zealand in 1865. It lies at the southern tip of the North Island of New Zealand, the smaller of New Zealand's two main islands (which subsequently became the more populous island,) immediately across Cook Strait from the South Island. The previous capital, Auckland, lies much further north in the North Island; the move followed a long argument for a more central location for parliament.
- Managua, Nicaragua, chosen to appease rivals in León and Granada, which also were associated with the liberal and conservative political factions respectively
- Jefferson City, Missouri was selected as the state capital in 1821, the year after Missouri was admitted to the Union, due to its central location within the state. It is almost halfway between Missouri's two largest cities, Kansas City in the west and St. Louis in the east, although Kansas City was not incorporated until 1850.
Changes in a nation's political regime sometimes result in the designation of a new capital. Akmola (from 1998 Astana and from March 2019 Nur-Sultan) became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Naypyidaw was founded in
Burma's interior as the former capital, Rangoon, was claimed to be overcrowded.