Our editors will review what you submitted and determine if they should review the article. Los Angeles, the heart of Southern California, recently became a world-class city. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was considered simply “a big town”. This rise is all the more remarkable considering that the city originally lacked some of the essential components associated with the city, such as a natural harbor.
However, it overcame natural deficiencies and established itself as an important center for trade, agriculture, tourism and industry. For more than a century, it has been indelibly associated with a mild climate, extensive outdoor leisure and recreation, as well as with the special aura of celebrity associated with Hollywood. The lifestyle of Los Angeles residents (who call themselves Angelenos) is based on cars, idealizes single-family housing and favors informality. With notable exceptions, the horizon is mainly horizontal rather than vertical.
Los Angeles is a place of extraordinary ethnic and racial diversity, largely due to immigration, and, like other cities in the world, reflects a growing gap between rich and poor. Los Angeles has suffered criticism from many detractors. Critics refer to it as a relaxed “la-la” land or, on the contrary, as a place that is reeling from earthquakes, fires, smog, gang wars and riots. Defenders of the city admire its temperate climate and geographical variety.
They claim that their main social problems are similar to those of all large cities and are perhaps even less serious there than elsewhere. In fact, some observers consider it the most modern and quintessential American city. People from at least 130 countries reside in Los Angeles County. In fact, Los Angeles County has the highest foreign-born population of all counties in the United States (one in three residents), including the largest populations in Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The largest communities outside their homeland of Mexicans, Koreans, Filipinos, Armenians, Salvadorans and Guatemalans live here. In addition, the highest concentrations of people in the United States born in Iran, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Cambodia, Thailand, Lebanon, Belize, Indonesia, Syria, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, the Netherlands, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, New Zealand and Kuwait make Los Angeles County their home. Los Angeles County is a region of thousands of square miles in Southern California, about the same size as Rhode Island. There are 88 cities (municipalities) in the county; the largest, the city of Los Angeles, extends its tentacles throughout the county.
Los Angeles is a major freight and rail transportation hub, largely due to the large volumes of cargo entering and leaving the county's port facilities. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, despite its name, is not a county department. Los Angeles County includes the San Clemente and Santa Catalina Islands, which are part of the Channel Islands archipelago off the Pacific coast. State cases are appealed to the Second District Court of Appeals, which is also based at the Civic Center, and then to the California Supreme Court, which is based in San Francisco, but also hears arguments in Los Angeles (again, at the Civic Center).
The Los Angeles County Office of Education plays a role in supporting school districts in the area. The Los Angeles County bus network is GPS-enabled and works with major travel planning applications, such as Moovit and Transit. Caltrans has installed real-time traffic speed sensors on most interstate highways in the greater Los Angeles area. Light rail, subway (heavy rail) and long-distance bus services are provided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
Union Station is also the main hub for the Metrolink commuter train, which serves much of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Unlike the largest city in the United States, New York, the entire city of Los Angeles and most of its major suburbs are within a single county. This makes the Los Angeles metropolitan area, with approximately 1.8 cars per household, the most populous urban sprawl by cars in the world. Before the 1870s, Los Angeles County was divided into municipalities, many of which were mergers of one or more old ranches.