Look back & moving forwards

The environmental problems the city faces are innately social. They are catastrophic for some, and barely noticeable for others. A non-racial materialist analysis cannot fully ‘explain this tragedy, nor could racism alone’ (Pulido, 2016:7), as racism remains a constituent logic of capitalism (Robinson, 2000). The institutionalisation of racism, and co-production of race and class (Ziami, 2020:153) during the Los Angeles’ era of redlining, continues to explain why BIPOC, along with working class communities continue to be impacted by poor air quality in LA. It is, in fact, the inequality within LA, not only socio-economically but also environmentally, that means the Hollywood Hills for example, remain a significantly more expensive place to live, with the average cost of renting being ‘$5,017, while the rest of Los Angeles averages around $2,469 per month’. The ‘expendability’ (Pulido, 2016:8) of certain communities allows these rampant inequalities to flourish. Simply put, the desirability of some parts of the city, are dependent on the toxicity of others.

The structural inequalities facing LA are truly a result its social, historical and ecological landscape. Political agendas of the past continue to live out their legacies. They must be acknowledged and addressed if the city is to rectify the inequalities that prevail .

Mark Ruwedel, from “Seventy-Two and One Half Miles Across Los Angeles.”

Thank you so much for reading and engaging with me! Los Angeles is a diverse, complex, and at times heart-breaking city and I have found the last few months truly eye opening. I hope you have too.


Apartments.com. n.d. Hollywood Hills Apartments for Rent – Los Angeles, CA | Apartments.com. [online] Available at: <https://www.apartments.com/hollywood-hills-los-angeles-ca/&gt; [Accessed 28 December 2020].

Pulido, Laura. “Flint, Environmental Racism, and Racial Capitalism.” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 27.3 (2016): 1-16. Web.

Robinson C (2000[1983]) Black Marxism: The Making of Black Radical Traditions. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Zaimi, Rea. “Making Real Estate Markets: The Co‐Production of Race and Property Value in Early 20th Century Appraisal Science.” Antipode 52.5 (2020): 1539-559. Web.

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