The Balance Of Controlling And Recovering The River

1533 words - 6 pages

The Balance of Controlling and Recovering the River The Los Angeles River stands as a relic of the physical, economic and intellectual landscape of Los Angeles' history. The Los Angeles River is indeed an integral part of L.A. and it is crucial to remember that the "L.A. River is where L.A. was founded" (Price, "In the Beginning"). In addition, the Los Angeles River Task Force concludes that in "the years since the river was paved, every condition of the 1930's landscape has changed" (Golding). The Los Angeles River has become a critical shared resource between the connecting 11 cities; across the entire San Fernando Valley, around the northeast, due south to downtown and finally into the Long Beach Harbor, swinging through its heart. Even though the L.A. River is an integral part of Los Angeles, efforts in restoring the river would prove Los Angeles' sustainability as it creates the ultimate vision for connecting people to favorable open space reserves. The great architect of Los Angeles' sustainability, William Mulholland, failed to support the city with enough water after 10 years. Mike Davis labels William Mulholland and the city of Los Angeles as "Dracula's" and "Vampires" (Davis 23). While he was blamed for stealing the resources from Owen's Valley and for turning Owen's Valley into a "no man's land", this is a misrepresentation of William Mulholland's true vision of water, power, and wealth. William Mulholland is considered a hero for what he has done for the city of Los Angeles, and for giving an urban city what it needed in order to survive and modernize. Mulholland introduced water into Los Angeles with the slogan "if you can't bring L.A. to the water, bring the water to L.A." (Cadillac Desert 1). His motto indicates that the idea of restoring the river and cleaning the water might just be the answer to the continued prosperity of the LA communities. His goal and vision for the city was a huge success for about 10 years, and his water project gave the city more water than was needed. The city of Los Angeles was never a 'city to be' but now it has become the second biggest city in America. Even though it may seem that the primary function of the Los Angeles River today is to serve as a sewage conduit, the river was once the city's main water resource and was suitable for many different kinds of vegetations and wild life. It was a home with "a lush forest of sycamores and cottonwoods lined the river's banks, and willows chocked the floodplain; big patches in the future Valley and South and West L.A. were wetlands" (Price, "In the Beginning"). This theoretically justifies why the Los Angeles River is an intrinsic element of L.A, as the city sprung up around its banks. However, like any other river, the L.A. River was extremely prone to natural hazards because it contained run-offs from the valleys and mountains surrounding it. After heavy rain, the water would spread across the plains of Los Angeles,...

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