The Affects of Urban Development

On the Quantity and Quality of Natural Resources

As population continues to expand, land and resources becomes more and more valuable. As the demand for living space increases with this expansion, metropolitan areas may grow through the construction of homes, businesses, roadways, or other nonagricultural land uses.

Environmental and Ecconomic patterns associated with land use in Southern California

Destruction of Streams

Mass urbanization is causing the destruction of streams. This results in an increase of nitrogen in the environment.

Industrial Growth vs. Real Estate

The commercial transformation that has brought changes in land uses has caused frequent economic conflict. People interested in real estate are at conflict with those who promote industrial interests, because their two goals may be incompatible. For instance, industrial growth can cause air pollution which negatively affects real estate values due to peoples' health concerns.

Importance of the historic context affecting land and river use choices in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Agricultural Hub: L.A.

Los Angeles offers a prime agricultural location given its climate. However, this idea is battling with massive urban development. Much of the land that used to be dedicated to agricultural use, is now converted into land used for housing and commercial development to fuel the population boom.

Environmental Degredation

Los Angeles has a history of environmental degradation resulting from economic growth. Around the time of the Industrial Revolution, cattle ranches were beginning to transform into vineyards to satisfy urban demands. The Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad depot were built within a half mile of the western side of the Los Angeles River. These buildings began to displace vineyards and orchards that had grown up around the river and provided food and jobs to the population. This has also caused increased runoff, heightened the flood hazard, and ultimately contributed to the remaking of the river.
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Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution sparked the beginning of mass urbanization like we see in California. The new industrial labor opportunities caused a population shift from the countryside to the cities. This commenced the movement from a heavily focused agricultural society, to a more focused urban society. This growth of cities led to terrible living conditions. Epidemics frequently erupted due to such close counters.

Impacts of Urban Population Growth on Natural Resources in this Region

Loss of Farmland

Recent land use trends in California have included a 4% decrease in farmland, with Los Angeles being one of the three areas in the state where new urban land has been located. SoCal has the largest numerical increase in urban land since 1996. There have been 30,306 acres converted from farmland uses!
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Loss of Waterways

Urban development is also destroying streams and water ways which are efficient at removing excess nitrogen. Nitrogen is released into the environment through the burning of fossil fuels, production of fertilizer, and increased cultivation.

By Kristin Brown