Reinventing Los Angeles: Nature and Community in the Global City

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MIT Press, Oct 12, 2007 - Architecture - 440 pages
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Los Angeles--the place without a sense of place, famous for sprawl and overdevelopment and defined by its car-clogged freeways--might seem inhospitable to ideas about connecting with nature and community. But in Reinventing Los Angeles, educator and activist Robert Gottlieb describes how imaginative and innovative social movements have coalesced around the issues of water development, cars and freeways, and land use, to create a more livable and sustainable city. Gottlieb traces the emergence of Los Angeles as a global city in the twentieth century and describes its continuing evolution today. He examines the powerful influences of immigration and economic globalization as they intersect with changes in the politics of water, transportation, and land use, and illustrates each of these core concerns with an account of grass roots and activist responses: efforts to reenvision the concrete-bound, fenced-off Los Angeles River as a natural resource; "Arroyofest," the closing of the Pasadena Freeway for a Sunday of walking and bike riding; and immigrants' initiatives to create urban gardens and connect with their countries of origin. Reinventing Los Angeles is a unique blend of personal narrative (Gottlieb himself participated in several of the grass roots actions described in the book) and historical and theoretical discussion. It provides a road map for a new environmentalism of everyday life, demonstrating the opportunities for renewal in a global city.Robert Gottlieb is Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is the author of Environmentalism Unbound: Exploring New Pathways for Change (MIT Press), Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement, and other books.
 

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Contents

An Introduction
1
1 Nature in the City
17
2 Community in the City
57
3 Water for the City
95
4 ReEnvisioning the Los Angeles River
135
5 Cars and Freeways in the City
173
6 The Magic of ArroyoFest
215
7 City of Migrations
253
8 Social Change across Borders
291
A Conclusion
331
Notes
341
Index
407
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