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Location Los Angeles, California
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Keywords Cities, US cities
Authors Phil Green
Keeren Payano
Published 2012
License CC BY-SA 4.0
Page views 1,791

Los Angeles (US: (listen) lawss AN-jəl-əs; Tongva: Tovaangar; Spanish: Los Ángeles; Spanish for "The Angels"), often spoken and written as its initialism, L.A., is the largest city in California. With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the second-largest city in the United States, after New York City, and the third-largest city in North America, after Mexico City and New York City. Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic and cultural diversity, Hollywood entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolitan area.

Los Angeles lies in a basin in Southern California, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, with mountains as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 m), and deserts. The city, which covers about 469 square miles (1,210 km2), is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States. The Los Angeles metropolitan area (MSA) is home to a population of 13.1 million, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in the nation after that of New York. Greater Los Angeles includes metro Los Angeles as well as the Inland Empire and Ventura County. It is the second most populous U.S. combined statistical area, also after New York, with a 2015 estimate of 18.7 million people.

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

#DroughtHack, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti


Los Angeles, Environmental issues: Owing to geography, heavy reliance on automobiles, and the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, Los Angeles suffers from air pollution in the form of smog. The Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley are susceptible to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from road vehicles, airplanes, locomotives, shipping, manufacturing, and other sources.
The smog season lasts from May to October. Unlike other large cities that rely on rain to clear smog, Los Angeles gets only 15 inches (380 mm) of rain each year: pollution accumulates over many consecutive days. Issues of air quality in Los Angeles and other major cities led to the passage of early national environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act. More recently, the state of California has led the nation in working to limit pollution by mandating low-emission vehicles. Smog is expected to continue to drop in the coming years due to aggressive steps to reduce it, which include electric and hybrid cars, improvements in mass transit, and other measures.
The number of Stage 1 smog alerts in Los Angeles has declined from over 100 per year in the 1970s to almost zero in the new millennium. Despite improvement, the 2006 and 2007 annual reports of the American Lung Association ranked the city as the most polluted in the country with short-term particle pollution and year-round particle pollution. In 2008, the city was ranked the second most polluted and again had the highest year-round particulate pollution. The city met its goal of providing 20 percent of the city's power from renewable sources in 2010.
The American Lung Association's 2013 survey ranks the metro area as having the nation's worst smog, and fourth in both short term and year round pollution amounts.

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]


Coasts[edit | edit source]

Heal the Bay - Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission - Surfrider Foundation

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

Communities online[edit | edit source]

Los Angeles - GOOD

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Bicycle Kitchen, non-profit bicycle cooperative in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, dedicated to educating the community on bicycle repair and maintenance and promoting a velo-centric way of life in America's most car-dominated city. The Bicycle Kitchen Wiki. The Bicycle Kitchen Blog - CicLAvia


Cycling in Los Angeles accounts for less than one percent (0.6%) of all work commutes. Because of the mild climate, there is little need to carry the variety of clothing that cyclists require in other less temperate climates.
As of 29 April 2008 there were more than 350 miles (560 km) of bike lanes and paths in the Los Angeles bike path network, such as the Los Angeles River bicycle path, which runs from Burbank to Long Beach, with only a brief hiatus through downtown.
Bike paths in Los Angeles (category)
CicLAvia is an event held in Los Angeles where streets are closed to motor vehicles and open for the public to walk, bike, and skate through the open streets. Each CicLavia event is planned by the nonprofit organization CicLAvia in partnership with the City of Los Angeles. The event takes place on a given Sunday and is open for a predetermined set of hours. This started out as a once a year occurrence but later expanded to 3 times a year. In fact, plans to have CicLAvia once a month are in the works. While primarily intended for cyclists, many people can be seen skateboarding, running, or walking down the path. Each street that is closed off is guarded by traffic officers who direct the cars to alternative routes through Los Angeles. On some streets the traffic lights are still in service which means the bikers and pedestrians must abide by the traffic laws. Police are guarding each intersection to allow ultimate safety of the community during this event. CicLAvia brings together densely populated and diverse neighborhoods through a bike route. The event now attracts over 100,000 participants and expands to connect even more neighborhoods.
To expand on their community activism, CicLAvia supports a "carpool" program called Feeder Walks or Rides for people of farther communities to meet up and go together to the event. There are several different cities around LA that use this program for community members to meet up at a specific location and at a specific time to ride their bikes together or walk together to the event so the biker or pedestrian does not have to go alone. This brings a sense of unity to the surrounding communities which is the purpose of the CicLAvia event.

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Arroyo Food Cooperative, community-owned market - L.A. Green Grounds, Growing, working, teaching: changing turf into edible gardens in South Los Angeles

L.A. Kitchen


Fallen Fruit

Wikipedia: Ron Finley is known as a proponent of healthy eating and gardening. He is co-founder of LAGREENGROUNDS.ORG, a company that plants gardens at low-income homes in the Los Angeles area as a part of a recovery system to transform neighborhoods. In early 2013, he gave a TED talk on his progress as a "guerrilla gardener," the dangers of food deserts, and the potential for his program to improve quality of life. He said in the talk, "If kids grow kale, kids eat kale; if they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes." The program has had modest success in persuading city officials to cooperate, but remains officially illegal under city code.

Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles

Sharing[edit | edit source]

Maps: google.com/maps

Social inclusion[edit | edit source]

Los Angeles Homeless Resource wiki - Social Justice Learning Institute, Inglewood

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]


LA on foot: 3.4% of Los Angeles residents commute to work by walking and Los Angeles residents walk for exercise at rates similar to those of other major U.S. cities.
There are a number of commercial areas that have been redeveloped in the past two decades specifically to accommodate pedestrian traffic. Old Town Pasadena was redeveloped in the late 1980s by moving parking off Colorado Boulevard so as to make the street pedestrian-focused. Likewise, the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica was closed off to vehicular traffic altogether in 1965 and revitalized with improved pedestrian amenities in 1988. Downtown Los Angeles has numerous public escalators and skyways, such as the Bunker Hill steps to facilitate pedestrian traffic in the traffic-laden and hilly terrain.
Downtown Los Angeles is one of two neighborhoods in Los Angeles ranked as a "walker's paradise" (with walk scores 90 or above) by WalkScore.com. The other is Mid-City West, which encompasses the area of the city immediately south of West Hollywood and east of Beverly Hills.
Nevertheless, much of Los Angeles remains pedestrian unfriendly. A large percentage of sidewalks in the City of Los Angeles (43% or 4,600 miles (7,400 km) of the 10,600 total miles) are in ill repair stemming from the City Council passing an ordinance in 1973 that relieved property owners of responsibility for repair of sidewalks damaged by roots, while failing to concurrently allocate funds for city repairs of such sidewalks. The city began dedicating funds for sidewalk repairs in 2000, but the backlog created by the twenty-six year repair hiatus is severe.

Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]

Arroyo Sustainable Economies Community Organization

Urban sustainability[edit | edit source]

Slideshow: Imagine Your Los Angeles Street Beyond Cars

Los Angeles: A History of the Future, how a metropolitan area could be rebuilt, over decades, toward balance with nature.

News sources: Los Angeles Streetsblog, daily news source connecting people to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

  • Transition Los Angeles
  • Transition Pasadena is a community action group working to connect, inspire, and support individuals and neighborhoods using the Transition Model to build resilient communities. Our members live in Pasadena, Altadena, and nearby neighborhoods including Highland Park and Eagle Rock. Founded in 2010, our award-winning projects include Throop Learning Garden and Repair Café Pasadena. We also host talks, potluck gatherings, reskilling workshops, and film screenings.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Cycling: Bicycle maps, LADOT bicycle services

Food: Fallen Fruit, A Mapping of Food Resources in Los Angeles.

Open spaces: LA Open Acres, database of the open, accessible lands in Los Angeles.

News and comment[edit | edit source]


Los Angeles Tests the Power of 'Play Streets', Apr 29 [1]


Fallen Fruit: The Sharing Tree, Apr 4 [2]


On Tuesday LA City voted for a sales tax hike to build housing for the homeless, Nov 10 [3]

Born of Triumph and Tragedy, Social Justice Org Fosters Health Equity and Well-being of Communities of Color, Oct 19 [4]

The Expo Line, and five other reasons Los Angeles may finally shed its car-centric reputation, Jun 10 [5]

LA County to Establish First-Ever Sustainability Officer Position, Mar 2 [6]


Urban students grow food at Los Angeles school garden, November 20 [7]

A Walkability Prescription For Downtown Los Angeles, September 22 [8]

From Concrete to Green: Urban Agriculture Initiative Seeks to Transform LA River into Ag Oasis, August 24 [9]

Ex-cons at LA Kitchen Feed the Hungry with Food Waste, August 17 [10]

SUMC to Help Lead $1.6 Million Low-Income Carsharing Pilot in LA, July 24 [11]

Food and Agriculture Play Significant Role in City of Los Angeles Sustainability pLAn, June 22[12]

Watch a decade of growth in LA's bike infrastructure, April 10 [13]


Mayor Garcetti Issues Executive Directive On Water Conservation To Address Ongoing Drought, October 14 [14]

Sharing Activists Reveal Plan to Turn Los Angeles into Sharing Mecca, August 31 [15]

Los Angeles Ready to Add 300 MW of New Solar Energy Capacity, June 16 [16]

How they did it: Angelenos win their first protected bike lane, April 15 [17]

​Los Angeles becomes largest US city to prohibit fracking, March 1 [18]


Los Angeles Parking Lot Becomes Urban Green Space, February 17 [19]

Events[edit | edit source]


October 16 CicLAvia - Heart of LA

Ecovillages[edit | edit source]

Los Angeles Eco-Village

Campaigns[edit | edit source]

Cowatching Oil La on facebook


External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]