1. How was the rise of the postwar suburb an articulation of citizenship?
The period during the World War II and several years after this war marked the emergence of the women emancipation and the awareness of African American identity in America’s urban life. As such, women were becoming active representatives of the social life, being involved in the economic dimension as participants in the labor market, allowing them to have a voice in the society and to leave the domestic sphere with which they were traditionally associated, making no distinction between their domestic and social identity (Avila 3). Similarly, the decentralization of the urban life caused by the war also favored the massive migration of Blacks from America’s southern regions to the urban America, seeking employment in Northeast, Midwest and Far West, which, due to this migration, have become “blackened” (Avila 3).
As a response to this situation, characterized by the decentralization of urban life through the changing of the gender roles, threatening the males’ supremacy and through the emergence of the African Americans coming to the industrial regions, threatening the whites’ supremacy, the government along with other institutions that promoted and protected the whites’ identity and their supremacy in America reacted by sustaining the migration of whites in the suburbs. This move, sustained through incentives for white families to buy houses in suburbs and by the movie industry or social culture, which promoted the promiscuity of the urban life (film noir) and in contrast the happiness and joys of suburb life destined for white (Disneyland), was intended to bring back the American values, such as the reinstallation of women in the domestic sphere, as mothers and wives and to reinforce the supremacy of the whites, racially suggesting the inferiority of African Americans. Therefore, the postwar suburbs became an articulation of the American citizenship, characterized by racism, gendered social life and by the supremacy of white males.
2. Discuss the relationship between the natural world, the built environment, and class in Malibu, California.
The class distinction in Malibu is visible through the discrimination towards the poor people who are unprotected by governmental dispositions as the high income residents of this city. As such, Davis (97) explains how the public funds are directed towards protecting the city’s residents with high incomes against the fires that permanently threaten Malibu, while the government policies ignore the poor people, letting them at the hand of the dangers of the fire, as Malibu is considered the worldfire capital.
This makes the built environment in Malibu permanently threatened by fire, but while the wealthy homeowners from Malibu benefit of insurance, landuse or disaster relief subsidies, little or no attention is given to the tenements where poor people (coming from diverse cultural backgrounds, working in sweatshops and having a hard life as it is) live, as most fatalities are registered in the areas where they live, because they are not as protected against fires with firefighters armies and insurances as the high income residents of Malibu are (Davis 99).
The natural world in Malibu is not quite favorable to the built environment, because this area is known for its chaparral plant community, which has strong ignition properties, mostly when it reaches half of century, acting practically as crude oil that only sustains the fire and a firestorm in Malibu is greatly favored by these fields (Davis 102). Aiming to suppress the fire with firefighters has little effect, and can even be destructive, because these fields can be water repellent, causing flooding. Yet, for pursuing their aspirations to live in Malibu, homeowners in this region are requiring for technological innovations to protect them against the wildfire ecology existent in this area (Davis 146). And the United States government does protect the rich population of Malibu, which costs the country significantly, but the fire protection policies only apply to the rich people, not to the inner city migrant or poor people, which indicates that when it comes to natural hazard protection and public safety, the built environment is unequal, separate and discriminatory (Davis 147).
3. Describe how the growth of the Port of Los Angeles is redefining LA as a global city and remaking local spaces and environments. What are the tensions between the local and the global that are being generated through the expansion of the Port?
The growth of the Port of Los Angeles was sustained by a visionary strategy to optimize the special revenue funds for massively strengthening the city, without increasing taxes, which increased the city’s potential, but it still faced various challenges to become a player in the global marketplace (Erie 117). The L.A. Port required increased development, and this opportunity aroused when Long Beach, the other major port of United States, withdrew from 2020 Plan (plan to develop the port to becoming a global player through dredge-and-fill expansion), accommodating larger ships that sustained the economies of scale and servicing long routes that stretched from Asia to North America (Erie 121), making Los Angeles a global city. The disputes over the L.A.’s port administration rose to generate local tensions, which threatened to make Los Angeles the first broken Californian city in the current century, but such situation was avoided, as the port remained in the L.A.’s mayor’s administration.
Being the single port from United States to accommodate larger ships, the port of Los Angeles imposed higher taxes than the other ports, making the competitive harbors like the one of New York, Baltimore or Boston to reduce their fees with 30 percent in order to determine shippers to send their Asian cargo in their ports (Erie 143). Globally, due to L.A.’s port major prices, Asian cargo searched alternatives, reaching to Houston, three days later, but reducing $400 per container (Erie 143). Internal tensions also emerged due to the growth of the Los Angeles Port. As such, the late nineties saw disputes coming from independent truckers and port pilots regarding the limited hours of operation, accusing the strangulation of the landside transportation mode (Erie 143).