Saturday, November 16, 2013

Republicans Have Been Spotted in Los Angeles

Wim DeWit and Christopher James Alexander. Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1949-1990. Los Angeles, Ca.: The Getty Research Institute, 2013.

The following notes may be of interest to City Planning students:

Los Angeles, unlike European cities, does not have a town hall and religious buildings forming its center. It is a spread out city using much vehicle traffic. It is a city focused on mobility.. Reyner Banham observes that billboards, parking spaces, gas stations, etc. are an important part of Los Angeles’s fabric.

Philip Ethington notes downtown Los Angeles was a center hub in 1915 reaching out to Pomona, Ventura, and Santa Anna. Many real estate developers added new neighborhoods that took away the idea of a central hub. This growth was fueled by the rising importance of the aircraft industries and movies.

William Deveral observes Los Angeles planned poorly for open spaces and parks. Business leaders ignored such plans. Support for parks emerged which successfully influenced creating, in 1978, the Santa Monica Mountains Natural Recreation Act. in 2000, a $2 billion statewide bond issues was approved by voters for preserving and improving beaches, the coast, and parks.

Eric Avion noes there are seven freeways built through East Los Angeles neighborhoods and none in Beverly HIlls, whose residents are more economically and politically influential. While some argued against the environmental impacts of freeway, others such as writer Joan Didion saw freeways as allowing women to escape suburban  drudgery

Los Angeles rose from being viewed as a city of drab architecture to one with many examples of notable modern architecture. Architectural influences are found from Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere.

Aviation helped Los Angeles grow by making it more accessible. The Los Angeles International Airport opened its first jet-age airpot in 1961.


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