Surburbanisation - LA Case Study

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 13-05-14 10:55

Reasons fro the Growth of LA forms part of the huge urban area known to Americans as the 'San-San urban corridor' from San Francisco and San Diego...

Transport:- The arrival of the transcontinental railway from the east in 1876 stimulated rapid population growth. Los Angeles Airport (LAX) which in 2012 was the sixth busiest airport in the world

Employment - Discovery of oil, the Ford car plant and other naufacturing industrues, good weather fro civil and military test flights as well as for production sites

Image - Development of the filmm industry in Hollywood created a glamorous image for the city. Film theme parks also brought tourisms and created additional employment. Romantic 'flower power' image 

Greater Affluence - gave people greater choice about where to live 

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Push and Pull Factors


  • businesses looking for greenfield sites
  • crowded housing
  • fears for safety
  • high land rent
  • declining jobs
  • pollution
  • poor schools and services
  • congestion


  • Accessible, high personal mobility, cheap fuel, huge investment in transport networks
  • large shopping centres
  • better schools and services
  • more open spaces
  • low-density, single family housing
  • safer neighbourhoods
  • cheaper land for larger properties with few planning restrictions
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Donut City

...a city with a hole in the central (downtown) area...

  • factories, located in the inner suburbs, closed 
  • Busineeses followed people out of central Los Angeles to the suburbs
  • Modern high-tech industries wanted large sites with car parks on the edge of the city
  • middle and high income earners, moved out to te suburbs and large retail malls followed - the further away suburbs developed, the less inclined people would be to travel to central LA for shopping

The has led to dereliction and concentration of poorer people lving in sharply segregated areas

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Edge Cities

...increasingly large suburbs that have developed along the freeways

  • Concentrations of new industries 
  • Office developments 
  • Giant shopping mall 
  • Leisure zones

For those lving in the suburbs, work suddenly developed in thei doorstep 

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Ethnic Enclaves

...communities of people from similar cultural or ethnic backgrounds

Some enclaves ar wealthy, while others are poor, making the land use pattern more complicated. Many migrants in these areas suffer exclusion because they cannot afford to pay for services suchas health and higher education

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  • Time spent commuting creates social problems - stress, little time for family and friends. Suburban communities now exist only as places where people sleep rather than live. They are known as dormitory settlements
  • Smog - LA is in a basin so warm air over the city is overlayed with cold air, creating a temeprature inversion. This descending cold air traps pollution in the basin, creating smog.
  • Social Segregation - High income earners in central LA tend to live in small clusters, in seure tenement blocks guarded and protected by concierge and security services. These are surrounded by lower income, deprived areas with social problems and crime hotspots
  • Water - Water is pumed in from 359km away; continued demand for irrigating domestic gardens and fillinf pools is causing disputes with neighbouring states. Upto 50% of water is wasted from evaporation before it even reaches the city
  • Energy - record heatwave temperatures (upto 45dc) caused power blackouts when power stations were unable to cope with power demands for air conditioning
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