City structure and Environment that Los Angeles learns from the European


Citystructure and Environment that Los Angeles learns from the Europeancity ‘Netherlands’


Nov2, 2016


Citiesacross the globe exhibit changing trends and the background for citystructures tend to get identification from different sources. Thedifference in townstructures is brought about by many factors. The architecturalinspirations, topography, nature, demography and socio-economicfactors that highly contribute to defining and construction ofcapitalstructures. Most of thecitiesemerged from naturally virgin land,and as human settlements stepped in after the clearing of theenvironment1.Ultimately, the arrangement of land in use results into differentcity structures. Several theories exist explaining how the process ofurbanization takes place. These argumentsbaseon thedistributionof social amenities, which are factors that ultimately influence thegrowth of urban structures. Cities focus on different aspects, andthe environmental issues should get consideration for nuclearlife issues. The understanding of town’sstructures in different continents is critical to the implementationof change.This paper tries to analyze the city structuresin Netherlands and Los Angeles. Additionally, it also outlines whatthe latter can learn from the city structures and environmentalconsiderations found in Netherlands.

Theincreasein urbanization in European cities came along with many advantagesand challenges. The swelling populations advocated for restructuringand further planning so that the communitycould use the available space comfortably. Climate adaptation, incomedrivers and the consideration of low-incomegroups all contributed to the restructuring and the initialestablishment of these cities. The information has a backup basing onthe comment:

BothLos Angeles have a high population,but the controls put in place to deal with these numbers aredifferent2.

Citiesinboth Los Angeles and Netherlands emerged because of commonfactors,but the direction of development became different because of thediverse designs and policies used. The aspect of both citiesattracting foreigners is also very high. Economic factorssignificantly contribute to this scenario and in the process itdirectly affects the urban structures. The growth of urban structuresand the form in which they took place regards to populations, thelevelof people’s lives and distribution of opportunities in a city at aparticularperiod.


LosAngeles is the second largest city in all states of the US located inthe coastal region. Los Angeles began as a metropolitan area but grewinto a center of the entertainment industry. The growth of the cityled to themushroomingof publicstructures thatbecame modern with time. Additionally, the city has experienced amassive increase in population thereby attracting both local andforeign citizens

Overthe last century, the urban setting in Los Angeles encountered atotal transformation3.Previously walled, the city put a restraint on numerous economicactivities,but the rural land population density resulted in publicnetworks and urban life in almost the entire region. The opening upof the earlier assumed island regardingeconomic growth catapulted the city into aproductivelyconnected city.

LosAngeles has an estimated population of about ten million people and aLand size of about four thousand square miles. The land is purelyresidential, commercial, social amenities and of public use.

Thecity location close to the sea gives it accessibility by both sea andland. The siteof the citynear the coast contributes to the serenity of the town concerningenvironment. The situation has attracted development on the offshoreand within the city considering that it has emerged as a chiefcommercial center. Regardingheightabove sea level, Los Angeles lays on the sea level as anaspectthat has directly influenced structures in the city. Any time alongthe sea is likely to develop rapidly due to the availability of vastopportunities. Moreover,human populations are attracted to such areas because of theavailability of social amenities and employment.Businesses thrive more when all these factors combine and anysetbacks lead to the reorganization of existing structures. However,many challenges come with establishing a city along the marine.Topographic factor and considerations of occurrences like disastersare studied.Luckily, Los Angeles has thrived despite the existence of manysetbacks. The success does not mean that it is perfect since thereare many things that it could learn from other cities across theworld especially the European cities that encompass grandinfrastructure.

Thegrowing of trees within a city significantly contributes to theenvironmentalquality and the health of human beings. Trees act as carbon sinkswhich help in improving the quality of air for animal life.Additionally, the presence of plantation is essentialforthe survival of other flora. Unfortunately, little information existson the importance of publicnaturalresources and the impact they have on human beings and the economy.The city of Los Angeles exhibits diversity in the urban forest setup. The climatic conditions in this region permit growth of treesfrom different parts of the world. Totally, the City has therightratio of trees, shrubs and other forms of vegetation. The goodvegetation cover in Los Angeles implies that the environment isfavorable to support human and other forms of life. Despite theavailability and support of plants, there is still a lot to belearned from Netherlands concerning optimum conditions forenvironmental factors and publicstructure.

TheCentral Business District in Los Angeles exhibitstallbuildings which embrace modernity anddiversityin architectural designs. Consideringthat the city accommodates millions of people, investingin tall buildings within small areas of land helps in concentratingsignificantactivitieswithin the city. Additionally, the concentration of principaleconomic activities simplifies accessibility and reduces the timespentin maneuvering around the city. The housing in Los Angeles isresidential units that vary depending on the financial capabilitiesof Individuals. There are no recommended standard houses in this townwhich lead to the city’sdivisioninto economic zones. The ruralregions accommodate the rich and wealthy societies thatinvest in mansionsand big houses of different designs. Other areasinLos Angeles exhibit commonhousing that getsdeemed affordable forthe ordinarycitizen. Despite the existence of excellentinfrastructure, the city experiences serious traffic jams because ofthe high number of people who own cars.


Consideringpopulation density, Netherlands is one of the most highly populatedplaces in the world because the available land is below thepopulation level. If scaled toglobal population,cities in the Netherlands exhibit low population count as compared toother places in the world. Forinstance,Amsterdam which is the country’s capital city has a population ofless than one million4.Theother maintowns in the country also have allowedhuman population as compared to that of other nations.The population occupies small areas of land but despite that, lifeand other normal day activities getpursuedwithout any hardship. The population dynamics have changed positivelyover the years with a constant increase in population. TheNetherlands exhibitsa relatively low population occupying a small size of land ascompared to countries like the United States.

TheDutch architecture inspires construction of urban structures andother buildings across the scope of the city. The trends inarchitectural movements across Europe contribute to modernity in thestructural design of cities in Netherlands.Unlike in other countries, the Netherlands has invested in theconstructionof incrediblyaverage buildings regardinglength. The design of these buildings is relatingtothe fact that Netherlands was once anentirelyfilled sea that was reclaimed to create land for human settlement.


Sixtypercent of the total area in the Netherlandsaccommodates agriculture.Only twelve percent of the entire area has buildings and otherstructures. The Dutch society aims at developing networked cities,thus public networks are evident all over the Netherlands5.The process of urban planning in the Netherlands bases on Spatialplanning law. The government has laid down a policy which guides theplanning process. Additionally, the space planning embraces thezoning plan whereby the cities get divided into regions thataccommodate different functions. While most of the land might seem tobe agriculturally engaged, the remaining area is successfully plannedto accommodate settlement and other activities without limiting theexistence of people.

Thehistory of the country’s urban planning considers nature afundamental entity of the urban environment. European countries put alot of emphasis on the environmental wellness of a city. The policyformulation concerning a healthy urban environment gets followedNetherlands in setting up cities6.

Withahealthyeconomy, the government has few setbacks in spending money onenvironmental conservation. The government practices a greeningtaxation system whereby people who own transport vehicles gettaxed, to prevent environmental pollution.The tax goes into streamlining the urban structure set up to suit thepredetermined standards. Moreover,environmental taxation also exists on amenities such as water, fuel,waste,and energy.

Thetransport system in most Netherlands cities getsdesignedin a way to minimize the need forthe carriage.The transport system entails an intensified system and multiple usesof land. It involvesthe useof the same piece of land for different functions. Additionally, itencourages underground construction so that the top estatespace getsusedfor agriculture and other purposes7.Allactivities relevant to human existence concentratein aparticulararea and by doing so the time and cost used for transport getreduced.The process is made efficientby proper utilization of urban land,and in the process,the need for changing location isminimized.

WhatLos Angeles can learn From the European City, Netherlands?


Thecity of Los Angeles has few regulations concerning environmentalconservation. The rate of personal and public transport is equallythe same this immensely contributes to pollution in the city. Thesituation results in a more polluted environment arisingfrom the vehicleand industrial emissions. Los Angeles city has laid down conventionalsystems on thepreservationof natural vegetation but lagged behind when it comes to controllingthe environmental8.From the Netherlands, Los Angeles can learn how to introduce greentaxes which are instrumental in the control of pollutionin the city.Introducing taxation on public transport vehicles and fuel usage willlead to theestablishmentof a more environmentally friendly environment to both humans andplant life. In the process, the general social, economic and healthstatus of people living inthe city is likely to improve because there is a reductionin the danger of exposure to a hazardous environment brought about byenvironmental pollution.

Balancingthe environment and economic development

Theeconomy is very critical to the elaborationof an already established nation. The spatial and transformationplans of the Netherlands encompass economic progress. The processentails a combination of a means of transport that is environmentallyfriendly with the policies in the transport. Moreover, the system ofland use in The Netherlands involvesmaximum utilization of any available hand. According to the study:

Itis evident that cities in the Netherlands focus on the highestuseof resources through a combination of activities under the sameplace9.

LosAngeles should emulate this considering the underutilization of thelarge parcels of land in the city. The under usage of land in LosAngeles comes as a result of too much space used on buildings thatreceive constructionover a wide area. If Los Angeles could copy the system employed inbalancing the environment and economic development, there is alikelihood of attaining more success in urban structure planning.

Reducingthe need to travel

Timewasted because of movingfrom one place to another amounts to a period that can facilitate therunning of other activities. Most cities in the world have lacked animprovised system that can help cut down on time spent on traveling.Los Angeles has embraced transport systems that are time-consumingconsidering the population in the city.

Theonly way to reduce time wastage is by using the intensified andmultiple land usage system which is usefulin the Netherlands10.

Theconcentrationof both rural and urban areasaimsat reducing the time required for switching localities. In LosAngeles,where thereare large parcels of land, intensification is applicable, and ittakes place in an environmentally friendly manner. If Los Angelesembarks on intensification, the economic status and social lives ofthe people is likely to improve.


Definingof structures within an urban environment is greatly influenced bythe form of governance in place. Moreover, these governments play acentral role in the setting up and implementation of policies in anyenvironment.

TheDutch government employs a good functional decentralized governmentin the running of systems across cities11.

Theresulting impact is that these partiesfocus on making the publicstructures better by reducing the stretch of thearea.Although Los Angeles experiences a hierarchical system of governance,the aspect of giving each arm a chance to focus on anindividualurban issuedoes not exist. Therefore, if it can emulate the Dutch system ofgovernance, then achieving urban systems of quality status is verypossible. Moreover, the implementation of reforms is easy in such ascenario


Urbanstructures vary in different cities and theirscrutiny apparentlybrings in thepictureon how towns can differ regardingdevelopment and changes. The comparison of cities in the global northand south indicate that Los Angeles can learn a lot from Netherlandsas depicted in the above paragraphs. Despite economic growth andenvironment getting characterized by many thriving activities, theLos Angeles environment faces several setbacks in the establishmentof reconstruction of the urban structures. The conclusions aredrawn froman in-depth comparison of the status in the Netherlands. Theoutcomes clearly indicate that Los Angeles had limited approaches inimproving the conditionof city structures. The compositionsrange from governance, buildings, the environment, transport and theeconomic activities. The situationis not regardedas wrong, but relevant toa point whereby there is a needtoimprove the condition of Los Angeles in all aspects.

Fora good set up of atownstructures to exist, a deep analysis of the current situation of thecapital is imperative.Analysis of defining factors helps to come up with better longlasting solutions. On the positive side, there are indicatorsof unfavorable urban structures that if properly scrutinized, theycan lead to the development of a more productiveand favorable environment12.The status in Los Angeles is just an example of what getsexperiencedin other parts of the world. The situation results from the constantincrease in human population and technological advancements, which ifnot monitored well canlead to themess of urban structures. Outlining similarities and comparisons inurban structures just like in the Los Angeles and Netherlands caseis the best way to redesigning and coming up with better urbanstructures.


Hogen-Esch,T. &quotUrban Secession And The Politics Of Growth: The Case Of LosAngeles.&quotUrbanAffairs Review,vol 36, no.6, 2011, p. 783-809.

Martin,Leslie and Lionel March.&nbspUrbanSpace and Structures.London: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Vander Vlist, M.J. &quotLand Use Planning in The Netherlands Finding aBalance between Rural Development and Protection of the Environment.&quotLandscapeand Urban Planning,vol 41, no .2, 2014, p. 135-144.

1 L. Martin and Lionel M. Urban Space and Structures. London: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

2 T., Hogen-Esch. &quotUrban Secession And The Politics Of Growth: The Case Of Los Angeles.&quotUrban Affairs Review, vol 36, no.6, 2011, p. 783-809.

3 Hogen-Esch, p.785.

4 M.J. Van der Vlist, &quotLand Use Planning in The Netherlands Finding a Balance between Rural Development and Protection of the Environment.&quot Landscape and Urban Planning, vol 41, no .2, 2014, p. 135-144.

5 Van der Vlist, p. 140.

6 Van der Vlist, p. 142.

7 Van der Vlist, p. 135.

8 Martin, L. and Lionel M.&nbspUrban Space and Structures, p.57.

9 Van der Vlist, p. 136.

10 M.J. Van der Vlist, &quotLand Use Planning in The Netherlands Finding a Balance between Rural Development and Protection of the Environment, p. 135.

11 Van der Vlist, p. 136.

12 Van der Vlist, M.J. &quotLand Use Planning in The Netherlands Finding a Balance between Rural Development and Protection of the Environment.&quot p.137.