L.A. is known as a city of contrasts: glamour and luxury in the hills, Bel Air or Beverly Hills, the American dream of the San Fernando Valley suburbs, and the gang ridden violence of South Los Angeles. Sunshine and Noir. Sparkling utopias and dark spots. Koreans, Mexicans, Salvadorians crowd into the crown that spreads around a downtown area that fails to become the city center.
Los Angeles , El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de Porciuncula, was officially founded on September 4, 1781 under the rule of the Kingdom of Spain. The first physical features of the pueblo followed the strict city-planning laws established by King Philip II, which followed the Vitruvio’s writings.
During the years of the World Wars Los Angeles grew and became an industry heavy city, as well as the center of the giant entertainment industry in America. Population in the city was highly divided between ethnicities, with the original Los Angeles Plaza and neighborhood continuing to be home to minorities, immigrants, and the center of social activism. In the 1920’s Los Angeles became the first city in the country to pass restrictions in housing, by World War II 95% of housing was off-limits to Black and Asian citizens. The areas of east and south Los Angeles became some of the few available housing options for Blacks and Asians. In 1965 riots broke out in the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, the effects of a long history of racial segregation and tension, and civic corruption. Nearly 1,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed
The early housing restrictions greatly affected the population trends and neighborhoods throughout modern Los Angeles history. The city was one of the first in America to experience the effects of suburban sprawl, environmentally and socially. Much of Los Angeles’s modern identity is synonymous with American suburbanism. In fact it is called the capital of Suburbia. For his reason, the city and the rest of the L.A. metropolitan area are served by an extensive network of freeways and highways.