Urban Studies Sample Essay
This is an essay based on a video. instructions are included
Eden Lost and Found
Los Angeles city, unlike other cities, has experienced horizontal growth as opposed to a vertical one. This implies that the city has taken up a lot of lands. The suburbs are spread throughout the city and are connected to the downtown by the freeways. It has focused much of its planning around the roads that need to carry the high number of cars that move along the Los Angeles highways. The outlying districts of the city include the Hollywood, Century City, San Pedro, and Boyle Heights. The strained relationship between Los Angeles and the natural world has been caused by the huge population of people and the high number of cars. The huge population implies that much land is taken for residential building and office blocks while a high number of vehicles imply that much of the land is used for road construction to accommodate the traffic. The high number of cars has also contributed to the pollution of the environment (Carter 5). Los Angeles is largely a desert that is surrounded by mountains. The city is also located along a Faultline that makes it susceptible to earthquakes. The greatest temblors have been experienced in the area of Long Beach Island. Apart from the earthquakes, Los Angeles experiences wind-fanned fires, prolonged droughts, mudslides, and torrential rains that pose a challenge to human occupation. The natural environment, thus, results in a strained interaction with the people of Los Angeles.
There is also a complete disregard to the natural flora and fauna as a result of farming, ranching, and increased urbanization. Original flora and fauna have been replaced by exotic shrubs, trees, and flowers. Animal species such as the pronghorn antelope and the black bears have long become extinct. However, some efforts are being put in place to alleviate the disrespect of nature. Stringent anti-pollution legislations have been passed to regulate the amount of greenhouse gasses that are emitted into the atmosphere (Carter 11). Exotic plants have been introduced to replace the extinct indigenous ones. Moreover, some animals have been placed under state protection as endangered species, for example, the nocturnal mountain lions and the blue butterfly. Los Angeles has also embarked on watershed management to help in saving the water that was previously being misused and left to go into the ocean. People are being encouraged to build cisterns that collect water, and there are concerted efforts to recycle contaminated water making it is fit for use. The city has also reinvented the rail system to help ease the traffic on roads. Thus, Los Angeles has made great strides to ensure that it reclaims its lost natural environment.
Los Angeles is home to a diverse number of people. Currently, over ninety languages apart from English are spoken there. Los Angeles is home to a majority of Hispanics in the United States. However, there has been a shift in major ethnic groups as a result of natural causes as well as immigration. This has resulted in the population of minority groups going beyond that of the majority group. In essence, Los Angeles has become one of the diverse metropolis in the United States. The increase in its population has resulted in a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Initially, affluent suburbs were mostly inhabited by whites. Most African Americans resided mainlyin Compton and Inglewood. Low income-earning Latinos, Asians, and African American residemostly in the central city. Housing in this area has majorly remained segregated. These neighborhoods are also crime-ridden. Besides, area that used to be predominantly African American such as Compton and Inglewood have experienced a growth in Latino population. Those who have the money move to affluent suburbs as far as San Bernardino to avoid the crime-ridden neighborhoods of the central city. The most affluent suburbs include Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Venice. These suburbs are mainly inhabited by white elites.To celebrate their heritage and identity, marginalized groups can use public spacesof art where they can contribute to the creation of a redefined urban environment of which they are an integral part. Their art works can serve as a powerful platform based on which they can send messages about the need for equality.
Carter, Eric D. “Environmental Justice 2.0: New Latino Environmentalism in Los Angeles.” Local Environment 21.1 (2016): 3-23. Print.
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