“I’m delighted to see someone illustrating steps towards an ecologically sustainable city. Too often these ideas are presented in an abstract way, as a set of values, and it is hard to get a sense of the real struggles that need to take place.” --Lisa Greber, editor, Science for the People “An outstanding synthesis of ecological planning. Glover is one of the few professionals in California stimulating competent design for our post-automotive society.” --John Diamante, Threshold Foundation “We need more people pulling the pieces together like this.” --Richard Register, author of EcoCities “An ingenious approach. More power to his pen.” --Ernest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging “A great example of images of the future.” --Glen Hiemstra, Futurist.com, author of Turning the Future into Revenue “Damn good. Now it’s time to build it.” --Richard Britz, author of The Edible City “One of our best bioregional writers.” --Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale, Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision, The Green Revolution, Rebels Against the Future, The Conquest of Paradise, Power Shift, and SDS “A powerful critique.” --Carl Boggs, author of Social Movements and Political Power “Quite inspiring.” --Lois Arkin, founder, Los Angles Ecovillage “Excellent.” --Christopher Swann, Suntrain Company “Brilliant.” --David Fleming, Green Party of England and Wales “Citizen Planners is a burgeoning urban design group whose aim is to restore the City of Angels to a condition more befitting its name.” --Los Angeles Times 11/25/83
Preface to ebook edition. Utopias float above us beyond reach. This expansion of the 1982 book is the first to “systematically describe how a metropolis could become ecologically stable.” It asserts that utopia is practical and creates jobs. My first expression of this notion was the 1978 poster “Whole Systems Transformation,” whose text is included here under the “Sensual Cities” heading. Within a month of its publication I began walking across the United States, entirely on foot, from Boston to San Diego. This hike game me a half year to step outside normal life, to consider broadly how the United States might transform toward balance with nature.
Citizen Planners logo
Los Angeles: A History of the Future was originally published in 1982 as an article in Raise the Stakes, by the Planet Drum Founda-tion. Thanks to Peter Berg, founder of bioregionalism, who applauded this effort. This new edition is extensively revised and expanded. During the 30 years since its publication I’ve started more than a dozen organizations and campaigns which model these changes. First of these was Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, dedicated to ecological urban design. That group has continued as the Eco-Home Network, led by pioneer member Julia Russell. Los Angeles EcoVillage is another fine embodiment of this plan, started by member Lois Arkin, a lifelong co-op proponent. The astonishingly detailed paintings of this transformation are by Tom Slagle, from 1993. paulglover.org
Visionary Plans for a Different L.A. His Utopian Model Brings Best of Country Life to the City November 25, 1983
Paul Glover, founder of Citizen Planners, with drawing depicting transformation of 4-block area.. By JOEL ENGEL Picture this; A vast orchard of fruit and nut trees, across which bikeways and solar freight.rails transport people quickly and efficiently from their solar-powered co-op homes. This vision describes neither a proposed outer space colony, nor a George Lucas fantasy. In fact. the place will be Los Angeles several decades from now if Paul Glover’s work comes to fruition. Glover, 36, is the founder of Citizen Planners, a burgeoning urban planning group whose aim is to restore the City of the Angels to a condition more befitting its name. "Los Angeles is an army camped far from its sources of supply, using distant resources faster than nature renews them," Glover said, noting that water, power, fuel and foodstuffs are all hauled into the city from great distances at great cost. The result is a "throwaway society contrary to the laws of nature.” Even the Los Angeles Department of Planning, Glover said, in its recent report "Keeping the Good Lilfe,” reached the conclusion that unless drastic changes are soon made in the way we live, the city will choke itself into an ignominious oblivion.
Far Reaching Plan The solution, he believes, lies in a farreaching plan that recommends: natural resources be used at the rate they naturally renew; food and fuel be produced at household, neighborhood. municipal and regional levels; the construction of solar greenhouse homes; repopulating the city in less centralized terms. In his pamphlet. "Los Angeles; A History of the Future," Glover, who holds a degree in city management, has outlined one specific city plan that revolves around the concepts of efficiency and selfsufficiency. "We need to bring our lives into a closer radius,” he said. "For vacation and refreshment, people drive hundreds cf miles to experience the country. Well, I think we can bring the best of country life to city living. The idea is not. back to the land but ‘bring back the land.’” The urban portrait he has drawn comes close to a Utopian model. with his ideal Loc Angeles becoming a model for the rest of the United States, and then the world. Global peace will be the consequence of such a plan uf action, he maintained.
Acknowledges Poor Odds Yet Glover readily acknowledges that his attitude regarding the necessity of eventually dismantling the "wasteful and destructive" military-industrial complex spumoni w which many of hm conclusions are based— are guaranteed to antagonize and ostracize: huge segment n/f the populace, effectively diminishing Lswanieadr, zero the odhdasvof his lreume.eng,. Nevertheless he said, you have to begin with an active hope that all nations, especially Russia, will advance and grow. Otherwise, holding no hope at all, we're certain to die anyway from wantonness.” Glover pointed to China, which a dozen years age was considered a bigger threat to the national security than the Soviet Union, "'Things change and solutions can be found," he said. "We can’t give up just beause not everyone’s a nice guy, Glover, a veteran envimnmental activist, left his Ithaca. N.Y., home in 1978 to come west. He walked from Boston to San Diego, sticking to back roads where he thought he would be elm and alone and have time to reflect. "I wanted to take a step back and ger a broader sense of perspective, as well as an elemental sense of America.” Instead, he discovered that countless hordes cf people were living in the bulrushes,. sagebrush and forests, hidden away in the search of a less citified life. "Everywhere I went people were afraid of their neighbors. Walking up the road someone would tell me to be careful because the people farther on were were so horrible. Then I’d get there and a group of nice people would tell me to e careful of the next group up the road. And on and on it went.” There is no escaping the cities, he concluded; their influence extends into every corner. At first distressed by that thught, Glver decided that if the experience of living in them would ever be pleasant and satisfying, the cities would have to be remade-- and he was willing to try. Utilizing the modest savings he had accumulated from his previous job as an advertising copwriter, as well as the proceeds from the sales af hls urban history calendars at Ithaca, San Francisco and Los Angeles, he began the group. He took up residence in a $50-month Venice gauge, when he lives in Spartan fashion, and set to work designing the Los Angeles of his imagination After endlessly researching the of alternative "acceptable" technologies (solar, wind, muscle), he devised the plan set forth in the pamphlet, drew cartoons of the scheme, and incorporated the whole presentation into a slide show which he delivers at various functions, Then, as now, he took to the streets, distributing the Citizen Planners newsletter on his bicycle all across town. After becoming allied with Urban Ecology of Berkeley he was able to begin soliciting tax deductible memberships. A surprisingly broad cross section of people—including doctors, a machinist, data processors, a bacteriologist and a chemical engineer—·have responded to the information table Glover sets up periodically at the Santa Monica Mall and in front of theaters where films of a related heme are playing. Two of the first members were Cris Gutierrez, 28, and Randy Ziglar, 37. Their day typically begins at 6 a.m. with a bicycle ride from their home in Santa Monica to one of the three agricultural plots they lease in West Los Angeles. There they water the soil and tend to the vegetables and fruit that comprise nearly the whole of their diets.
Afterward, on work days, Gutierrez rides to her job as a bookkeeper and Ziglar to his as a lifeguard. On nonworking days, if they don’t take a leisurely jog through the Santa Monica mountains, they often breakfast in downtown Los Angeles at the Pantry, running the entire l5 mlles from Santa Monica. "On the way home we usually lake the bus," Gutierrez said, "We're too full to run.” Long before they became Citizen Planners, both could count on fingers and toes the number of miles they log each year in automobiles. They even go so far as to ride bikes to the Simi Valley and back once a week for an organic gardening class there. ' "Driving a car is like walking a dead dog,” Ziglar said. And mechaniec no longer threaten me. I‘m not at the whims of the Arabs or oil companies.” Sald Gutierrez, “The car is not the sole answer to getting around. Besides, when you go on your own power, you get to know the people and the neighborhoods.” And when it rains? "You get wet," she said. The idea, Ziglar tried to explain, is simply to return to a more simple way of life. “'We're not anti·machine, we just want them to be the assistants they were meant two be, not the masters they’ve become.” Although their adherence to what they feel is a moral issue has its drawbacks, both emphasized that the rewards far outweigh the disadvantages. “We’re not giving up anything, really were not,” Gutierrez said. Obviously. they agreed, their life style may be a little too far out for most people--at least right now. But they ask that those who live and work within a three-mile radius consider the alternatives to turning on the ignition. The way Glover views lt, his role in life is to encourage people to seek alternate methods of dealing with urban problems. He’s Paul Revere on a bicycle, warning that the rubbish is coming. From his numerous contacts with politicians, he believes that the grass-root.s approach is the only viable solution to dealing with the massive predicament of transportation, energy and waste disposal. "lt's important for everyone to cooperate with their family and neighbor," he said. "We have to first define on household and neighborhood levels what we would most like our neighborhoods to become.” His own elaborate scheme, he stressed, is not amaster plan, but a sample possibility. “We’re flexible. We’re acutely aware of the need to expermient and communicate, and we invite input of all kinds. In a democracy, planning is as important as voting.” Glover appears completely unconcerned with his own personal security-- putting something wya for a rainy day. But what if he should grow old and the world has failed to become what he’s imagined and worked for? “I have always felt my own destiny inextricably entwined into a secure society,” he said, recalling that even as a yojng boy he was emotionally moved by written accounts of World War II Holocaust victims. “Those people were preparing themselves and their children for some sort of security in the future, too, but they were swept away by forces over which they had no control.” joelengel.com
MODERN CITIES survive by importing huge volumes of natural materials every day. These are pushed through factories and homes to become products, pollution, and garbage.
TOMORROW始S CITIES will benefit the earth rather than damage it, by rebuilding to produce most of their own food and fuel, while recycling water, wood, metal and wastes.
PAST: Ninety years ago several homes were
PRESENT: The land is mostly paved and
built on a beanfield. Graded dirt streets connected to a concrete boulevard. Food, fuel and most water were produced locally. Trolleys made transit easy. Air was clean. Homes were safe unlocked.
built on. 400 people live in 74 houses. Most rent. Food, fuel, metals and water are piped, pumped and trucked from great distances. Many commute far to work. Fuel is wasted, air is poor. Crime confines women at night. Garbage is the main product of the neighborhood.
FUTURE STAGE ONE: Community land trusts and limited equity co-ops form to give renters control of land and housing. Some backyard paving, driveways, alleys and fences are removed for gardens and playgrounds. Fruit and nut trees (green areas) are planted. Solar collectors are installed. Kitchen waste is composted.
FUTURE STAGE TWO: Most garages are removed to extend gardens and food trees. Cars are parked at neighborhood's edge. Solar cells produce most electricity. Compost toilets improve soil and reduce water use. Metal and wood are stored for recycling. Food, tools and skills are shared and traded.
FUTURE STAGE THREE: Construction of two solar co-op homes (ecolonies) begins. Land is freed for crops and play. Orchards double. Neighborhood industries produce durable essential goods and reduce need fro commuting. Crime declines as neighbors work together outdoors.
FUTURE STAGE FOUR: First ecolony is completed, two others are being built. They are semi-underground for earth cooling and heating. A spyramid community-center is begun in the middle. Ocean water is desalinated. Bikeways connect neighborhoods. A trolley system is revived.
FUTURE STAGE FIVE: Three colonies are complete, the fourth is excavated. Solar turbines end industrial pollution. Extensive orchards are fireproofed with water wall sprayers. Community center is complete. Policy is made by full assemblies.
FUTURE STAGE SIX: Ecolonies are nearly
FUTURE STAGE SEVEN: The neighborhood has become an orchard looped with bikeways and solar rail. All food is from interneighborhoood sharing. Most physical and emotional needs are met within walking distance. Cars are gone. Population stabilizes at 430. New rituals evolve.
complete. Each sheltering about 100 people, they have well-soundproofed private spaces for those living alone or as couples,in nuclear families, extended families and neofamily groups. There are common areas for child care, medical care, food production, arts, industry, library, worship, theatre.
Earthqauke-proof, fireproof, heat-proof, drought-proof, nukemelt-proof, soundproof. Many prefer to spend their money for fresh food and fun than on electric and gas companies. Well-designed earth-sheltered ecolonies need no fossil fuels for heating, cooling, and lighting. That’s because soil temperature stays 58 degrees all year, six feet deep. It’s warmer inside when sunlight enters through south-facing windows. The Rocky Mountain Institute is a passive solar building high in the Rocky Mountains. They have no furnace, and grow bananas in their greenhouse all year.
Won’t it be dark inside? Natural light will spread from the central atrium, entryway, and many sun tubes. Any extra lighting will be solar electric-- we’ll collect money from PECO.
Will it be moldy and have stale air? Vapor barriers will keep the building dry. Heat exchangers will keep air turning over. Have you ever shopped at The Gallery?
Will it be full of echoes? We’ll install acoustic damping.
Will it cost extra to build? Earth-sheltered buildings can cost less than regular framed buildings. We’ll use discarded tires packed with earth for walls, Earthship style, and we’ll rely on members and volunteers to build.
Will it pass building code? There are already several underground buildings in Philadelphia (museums, classrooms, mall, theatre, art gallery); 400 underground buildings in Pennsylvania (library, storage, military command/control, mushrooms, visitor center, etc); and 5,000 underground buildings nationwide (aquarium, art gallery, bread & breakfast, cancer research ctr, chalet, community center, customs & immigration center, conservatory & botanical garden, concert hall, convention center, cultural center, dispatching center, factories, FedEx center, greenhouses, gymnasium, highway rest area, inn, jail, laboratory, nuclear waste dump, observatory, office building, research center, spa, schools (pre, elem, jr, high, univ), shooting range, spa, state capitol (VA), visitor center, war memorial, winery).
Won’t it be like cave dwelling? This is not the past but the future. Bill Gates lives inside a hillside. When gasoline hits $15/gallon, and coal prices follow upward, the only comfortable buildings in Philadelphia will be earth-sheltered. Don’t wait, excavate! Thereʼs nothing new about underground houses or giant change. Millions of humans live pleasantly underground. For thousands of years people lived in all regions of this continent before cheap fossil fuel, but not so many and with less demand
FROM FREEWAY TO FREERAY The car-clogged road grid, using fifty percent of city land, gradually becomes orchard looped with bikeways and solar rail. The process takes many decades. !Shown here is the Pomona Freeway crossing one mile of Boyle Heights. LOS ANGELES: A HISTORY OF THE FUTURE 1982
PRESENT: 3,000-pound cars propel !STAGE 1: Some alleys are depaved for 150-pound people along concrete and shared vegetable cropping. !Smaller cars asphalt streets. are required. !More bikes are used for travel within one mile.
STAGE 2: Most alleys are removed. !Cars are parked at neighborhood's edge. !Bus systems are expanded.
STAGE 3: All alleys are removed. !Solar bikes are common.
STAGE 5: Expanded rail network is powered by solar focal collectors. One lane of freeway for solar rail. !Bikeways extend. !Auto traffic halved.
STAGE 6: Solar rail takes half the freeway. !Bikeways are nearly complete. The most travelled walks are relaid as brilliant mosaics.
STAGE 4: Progressive Street Reclamation continues as streets are replaced by fruit and nut trees. Rail lines start interneighborhood transfers
STAGE 7: Most physical and emotional needs are met within walking distances. Cars are gone.
Los Angeles Transformation • Paintings by Tom Slagle During 18 months starting 1993, self-taught artist Slagle created a series of amazing paintings inspired by Los Angeles: A History of the Future. The originals are 4’ x 1’ and so detailed that, for example, micro-images are seen in a pick-up’s tiny rearview mirror.
“Afictitious neighborhood, somewhere in Los Angeles. Neighbors are surveying their communityʼs layout.”
“A party is planting fruit trees. Many houses have rooftop solar. Some yards are gardens.”
“Some fruit trees are taller, many streets have been reclaimed for trees. Cars parked at periphery.”
“Ecolony construction begins in background. Medical center, food co-op and community learning center begin.”
“Three of four ecolonies have been built and walkways are nearing completion.”
“Neighborhood radio and rail link the whole region. Small business carts spring up along the arbored walks.”
“A stream is meandering along the bike/walk ways. Tropical fruits everywhere. Ecolonies are completed.”
“People can travel across town to work or play, but many gain more leisure time by relying on the neighborhood.”
Slagle also created the following magnificent series showing these changes across the basin.
ÂŠ Tom Slagle
From Skyscrapers to Sky Sweepers
ÂŠ Tom Slagle
LOS ANGELES RIVER
© Tom Slagle
ÂŠ Tom Slagle
ÂŠ Tom Slagle
Designing EcoLos Angeles L.A. Resources, Spring 1984 by Paul Glover Imagine Los Angeles gradually transformed into a giant Southern California orchard laced with bikepaths and!solar freight rail, tended by thousands of solar co-op communities.! These living communities, or ecolonies, have both private and shared areas, include quiet solarpowered neighborhood industries, and are surrounded by gardens and playgrounds on land formerly covered by concrete, apartments and asphalt.! We electrify ourselves with photovoltaics and water ourselves with the desalted Pacific.! Colorful cultures and diverse lifestyles make life vibrant. City living takes on a lot of the best of country. We're healthier, happier and sexier. The city as presently constituted is the enemy of physical and spiritual health.! We meditate, center ourselves, our souls open, lights change, horns honk, traffic jams and we crack up again.! We're inspired by ancient teachings and traumatized by local news.! We free our hearts but are afraid to walk at night.! We eat the best food yet 80% of our diet, by weight, is rotten air.! We become slim and muscular while our lungs turn gritty yellow.! We try to raise children to respect life in a city which has killed nature.! We yearn for community in an ocean of locked and barred suburban cells.! We seek creative work but sell our lives. Citizen Planners is a group founded last year to prove we need not just endure what must instead be changed.d We're holistic urban designers whose aims are safe and friendly neighborhood, full employment, easy transit, solar power, urban agriculture, pure water, clean air and natural beauty in Los Angeles.! We invent practical transitions to these. Rather than escape "back to the land" only to find crowds there escaping city crowds, we prefer to "bring back the land."! Though most city land is paved and built, much of this area can be released for orchard, garden and play by changing our housing and transportation systems. As our name implies, we encourage city planning by everyone who lives here.! Traditional planners are busy designing taller buildings and wider highways.! Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re designing alternatives.! Our members include doctors, housewives, professors, gardeners, poets, architects, carpenters, authors, clerks, urban designers, lifeguards, factory managers, artists, economists, labors, capitalists, very young and very old.! We have new ideas of progress and growth.!! We work and play together.! Potlucks and field trips unite us. Our newsletter Sensual Cities describes our latest projects.! Research and Action Groups gather information on the nuts-and-bolts of uban agriculture, regional resources and appropriate technology.! Our Eco-Home Network supports household conservation, recycling and self-sufficiency.! Our members also offer professional consultation to renters, homeowners, businesses, community organizations and governments.! Two slide shows "The Edible City" and
"World Peace: What Will It Look Like?" are available to groups. Membership is $15/year and contributions are taxdeductible (checks to Urban Ecology, Inc)! We're especially looking for expanded office space and for donations of housing and land for construction of urban eco-villages.! Our book and poster Los Angeles: A History of the Future detail more of what we forsee. We make ideals real.
Deep Green Jobs
The green jobs movement parades as many green hues as our national parks, ranging from deep green work to pale green employment. All green work expands the economy by reducing waste of resources, workers and wealth. Green jobs make life easier for everyone by reducing the costs of fuel, food, and housing. Green work repairs soil, water and air, making these cleaner and healthier. Deeper green jobs build profound solutions to resource depletion, by expanding use of passive solar HVAC, trains, bicycles, superwindows, deconstruction and depaving, rainwater catchment and solar distillation, earth shelters, cellulose insulation, tree-free paper, compost toilets and greywater systems, urban farms and orchards, edible landscaping, greenhousing, solar windowboxes and solar water heaters, green roofs and white roofs. These humble tools prove that billions of humans can enjoy this planet while repairing it. Most American cities are today chained to crumbling and costly centralized grids-- sewers, freeways, power plants. Deep green technologies can gradually supplant these grey techs. Reliance on fossil fuel can be reduced toward zero, shrinking taxes by reducing repair fees. Liz Robinson, whose Energy Coordinating Agency, trains people to insulate and weatherize, says, “You’re going to be shocked how big these efforts are. The tipping point... is very exciting to see. Efficiencies are the cleanest, safest, most labor-intensive, and cheapest sources of energy.” Yet the deepest green jobs do even more than sharply cut fossil fuel dependence, and provide more than a paycheck. They serve the broader social mission to shift economic power toward lower-income neighborhoods. They replace the Poverty Industry (charity, police, courts, jails) with workerowned neighborhood light industries. They enable low-skilled neighbors to employ one another to create work that lowers their living expenses. Exemplary of such grassroots enterprise are Chicago’s Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation and the City of Cleveland. They grow fresh hydroponic vegetables, perform brownfield remediation, photovoltaic installation, weatherization, and operate a water-conserving nontoxic laundry. In Philadelphia, Project RISE facilitates green business starts among ex-offenders and at-risk youth. Says director Bernadine Hawes, “The vision should be based on what the population being served sees, and not just on the standards and traditions of the professional business development community.” John Churchville, green jobs planner for the American Cities Foundation, agrees. “The mind switch from seeking a job to creating a green business has the potential to single-handedly bring our entire nation back from the brink of economic ruin. Building a green economy that has the capacity to employ the majority of America’s unemployed and underemployed residents will be critical for our future...” This is a big job, since our country hosts at least tens of millions unemployed, plus the world’s highest incarceration rate. Yet Americans are wealthy in this poverty, because deep green jobs that fix the above rise from vacant lots and vacant lives, from Americans hungry for dinner and hungry for respect. Our vacant spaces invite planting,
and our abandoned houses need labor-intensive retrofit or deconstruction. There are tons of vagrant bricks and tires, discarded pallets and newspapers that are feedstock for simple energy-efficient neighborhood industries. Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability, Katherine Gajewski, reports that “most clean economy jobs... will require literacy in math, science and computer literacy. The best way to make sure that ex-offenders and unemployed residents can get access to those jobs is for them to upgrade those foundational skills.” These important skills particularly serve the higher-tech corporate green jobs that might some day hire a few hundreds of thousands jobless. However, as Green For All founder Van Jones says, “There should be a moral principle there that says, let's green the ghetto first. Let's go to those communities where they have the least ability to pay for that retrofit and make sure they get that help, make sure they get that support. And give the young people standing on those corners the opportunity to put down those handguns and pick up some caulking guns and be a part of the solution.” By his standard, the most urgent task is not to employ a few skilled people in solar/wind factories, paying them so well they can be major consumers, but to create useful work for all idle Americans, so they’re warm and fed and respected without resorting to crime. How do we pay for their green labor? Since investment in deep green enterprise will be less immediately profitable, bolder financial institutions are needed to expand neighborhood authority over money, trade, investment, interest rates and land use. Paths are clearing through which the rich profit by empowering, rather than dominating, the poor. For example, the Lancaster Stock Exchange (LanX) gathers capital for regional ecodevelopment. Similar plans are drawn for the Philadelphia Regional & Independent Stock Exchange (PRAISE). * Permaculture Credit Union of Santa Fe, NM, makes loans for solar heating, photovoltaic systems, weatherization, rainwater collection, resource conservation, organic farming and gardening. * Portland, Oregon, sponsors “Financial Tools for Neighborhood Businesses.” * Philadelphia’s Community Land Trust Corporation facilitates “equitable development,” to strengthen rather than displace long-time residents. Lower wages paid by modest start-ups can be supplemented by mutual aid systems, whose members pool small amounts of money to reduce expenses for housing, childcare, medicine, electricity and meals. Of course, there’s more to capital than dollars, euros, pesos or yen. Green jobs can be capitalized by regional credit systems that redirect dollar equivalents toward greening. Berkshares http://berkshares.org in Great Barrington, Massachusetts foster connections that spark new businesses. Ithaca (NY) HOURS assert that labor is the new gold standard-- millions have been traded since 1991. HOUR microloans are made interest-free. Who backs such money? We are the bank, we are the treasury, and we are the treasure. The deepest green jobs aim to entirely rebuild American cities toward balance with nature. This is the explicit intent of “Deep Green Cities: Fulfilling the Green Jobs Promise,” a new book by the California Construction Academy. Ecocity Builders envisions “the global rebuilding of cities and towns based on ecological principles...” The group Carfree Cities declares “We can convert existing cities to the carfree model over a period of decades. Venice, Italy, is an oasis of peace despite being one of the densest urban areas on earth.” Deepest imaginable green is “Los Angeles: A History of the Future,” which portrays America’s car capitol thriving without cars or streets, where millions reside in passive solar earth-sheltered “ecolonies” amid massive orchards linked with bikepaths and rail. Take your pick. On every scale, there’s plenty of green work to be done.
FOOD The next Los Angeles will welcome orchards and gardens where cars now pass and park. Housing will consolidate to allow roofs and yards to bloom. At full flower, Los Angeles’ acres will be 50% edible (producing much of its own food), 20% habitable (with more people than today), 10% commercial (factories, markets, storage), 10% wild or unusable, 5% recreational (playing fields, playgrounds, amphitheaters), 5% mobile (trollies, bikepaths, pedways). This enormous change will be gradual and systematic, providing basic security and causing less disturbance than would trying to avoid change. Though food is typically grown outside cities, there are several reasons why food must be grown within cities and why, in fact, cities need to be rebuilt to make space for crops amid people.
1) SECURITY: Food does not grow on shelves or live in vending machines. It comes from distant soils, which are diminishing, and is owned by remote companies. We are more secure when we own and control food, in our neighborhoods. 2) ENERGY-EFFICIENCY: Oil and natural gas shortages will raise food prices, because agribusiness relies heavily on fossil fuels for planting, fertilizing, cultivating, harvest, processing, distribution. 3) ENVIRONMENTAL: Air will become cleaner and fragrant, greenhouse gases will reduce, groundlevel ozone will form less rapidly, stormwater will be absorbed, groundwater will be filtered, less packaging will be trashed. 4) SOCIAL: Neighborhood labor will generate more jobs and less crime, neighbors will know and trust one another, children will enjoy playgrounds and be connected to a safe and beautiful community. 5) PERSONAL: We’ll have greater mental and physical health, make new friends. 6) ECONOMIC: Orchards multiply harvest value, by creating related jobs, reducing crime, making areas safer, teaching skills, cleaning air, improving nutrition and health., shading and cooling homes.
To accommodate this transformation several broad changes begin. These are detailed in the next chapters: • housing is rebuilt as ecolonies which consolidate residential space. • paving is removed • soil is decontaminated • water is saved for irrigation • irrigation is efficient • sewerage is reformed • harvest is processed • harvest is stored • transit is expanded
•FRUITS IN L.A.
Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Cactus (prickly pear), Calamondin, Cherimoya, Cherry, Chestnut, Fig, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Guava, Jujube, Kiwi, Kumquat, Lemon, Lime, Limequat, Loquat, Macadamia, Mango, Mulberry, Nectarine, Olives, Orange, Passion Fruit, Pawpaw, Peach, Pear, Persimmon, Plum, Pomegranate, Pomelo, Rose Hips, Quince, Sapote, Strawberry Tree, Tangelo, Tangerine,
• NUTS IN L.A.
Acorn, Almond, Carob, Cashew; chestnut, filbert (hazelnut), Pecan, Pine, Pistachio, Sunflower, Walnut
• BERRIES IN L.A.
Bababerry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Boysenberry, Brambleberry, Raspberry, Salal, Strawberry,
• VINES IN L.A. grape, hops, kiwi
The original seal of the Count of Los Angeles feeatured grapees, among primary crops
EDIBLE DESIGN ELEMENTS:
“ESPALIERING” fruits and vines-growing them on south-facing walls or trellises --extends the growing season, reduces sucker and leaf growth, gathers more fruit from less space, makes fruit larger, easier to protect from birds, easier to pick.
“You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can't count the number of apples in a seed."
VEGETABLES IN L.A.
Once known as the Orange Empire, Southern California hosted 100 million orange trees, just 60 years ago. Orchards 15 miles long and 8 miles wide spread across the basin. In 1910, the walnuts of southern California had a total value greater than all other nuts grown in the United States. The cities of Walnut, Pomona, Gardena, Hawthorne, Bell Gardens and Orange recall those years. Tending trees is less laborious than raising vegetables. Within the City of Los Angeles, 202 million dwarf food trees could fit, were every square foot given to them. Assuming orchards on two-thirds of the 50% total acres allocated to crops, we could plant 67 million food trees. That’s 22 trees per resident. Within the entire metropolitan area, less densely populated with 13 million residents, comparable figures would be 700 million food trees, or 54 trees per resident. In Pasadena, the Dervaes family grows 6,000 lbs/year of 350 varieties of foods on a lot just 66’ x 132’. In Los Angeles, Treepeople and in Austin, Texas, TreeFolks Urban Orchard Project plant orchards and teach planting skills to neighbors and schoolchildren. In India, one quarter of all city trees yield fruit. Prague and Stockholm fill open space with apple, pear and plum trees.
Annual: Bean, Borage, Cabbage, Carrot, Cucumber, Lettuce, Okra, Onion, Pea, Potato, Squash, Sweet Potato, Tomato Perennial: Artichoke, Asparagus, Bamboo, Chives, Eggplant, Endive, Escarole, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Peanut, Peppers, Spinach, Swiss Chard,
HERBS IN L.A. Basil, Chamomile, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Sorrel, Tea, Thyme
MUSHROOMS IN L.A. lamushrooms.org
HYDROPONICS growing plants without soil produces organic food faster with less labor and no weeds-- in nutrient slurry with gravel, peat, guano, worm castings, seaweed, vermiculite, styrofoam, pumice or sawdust.
Once planted, these acres take care of themselves and are usually located at the neighborhood fringe. They provide food with least work. Plant them in layers: nut trees shade dwarf and semi-dwarf fruit and nut trees, which shade berries, vines and vegetables. See Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison.
Pickaxe and backhoe serve for small areas. Pavement recycling machines grind asphalt streets and parking lots to sand. By extruding petroleum and adding soil amendments as it advances, the machine can lay a garden behind. Brick paving can be recycled as garden borders , greenhouse base, ornament, thermal mass, or can remain to let rain pass below.
Cleaning City Soil
Many decades of industrial contamination have made large parts of Los Angeles’ soils unfit for growing food. These soils need to be cleaned before planting. Bioremediation is the process by which heavy metals, salts, and volatile organic compounds like benzene, tuolene, and xylene are removed from soil by micro-organisms. “Bug custard,” for example, is a mix of bacteria (thiobacillus thlooxidans) with sulpur and cellulose thickener. Botanical remediation uses plants to detoxify soil. There are several ways this is done: phytoextraction (plants extract chemicals from soil). phytovolitalization (plants convert toxins to gas). rhyzofiltration (plant roots clean flowing water). phytostabilization (plants make metals less toxic). Some effective plants: arabidopsis thaliana, corn, indian mustard, alpine penny-cress, colonial bentgrass, alyssum. One can inject air into water (sparging) or into fractures in rock. Onsite remediation (in situ) is slower than offsite (ex situ). Soil analysis determines the best process.
Trees want just enough fertilizer, but not too much. Excess fertilizer yields too many leaves, too little fruit, and invites diseases. Excess nitrogen causes weak leaves and bland fruit that rots quickly. Too little nitrogen retards growth. Leaves show want the tree needs.
Planting a perennial cover crop of mixed grasses, legumes and herbs provides steady fertility for fruit & nut trees. Once established cover crops add nitrogen and attract beneficial insects.
NPK, Mg & Ca nitrogen phosphorous boosts growth, strengthens root systems, fruit quality and yield. Potassium helps plants use nitrogen and water efficiently, resisting disease. Calcium reinforces plant cell walls. Magnesium drives plant metabolism.
CHECKLIST Incorporation land trust Grantwriting Publicity Site Selection • Vacant lots • Streets: Progressive Street Reclamation • zoning • neighborhood plans • ownership, prices, • soil testing: heavy metals, pH, texture, fertility • neighborhood preference/need • microclimate:air drainage, winds, insolation • water sources Site Purchase • land trust • conservation easements Site Prep • debris clearance and recycling • soil remediation/drainage • soil amendments: manures • tools: shovels, hoes, rakes, rototiller, pruners • security:fence? • signage Planting • select varieties: temperature, sun, water, soil • design Mulching • newsprint, tires, bark Fertilizing • manures from local stables, etc • cover crops: legumes, grasses, taproot (parsley, daikon, beets, carrots chicory) Watering • drip irrigation • xeriscaping Pruning • tools: shears, caulk Pest Control • IPM • rodent control • bird nets Harvest • tools: baskets, pickers, aprons, ladders • free harvest • cosecha libre • charitable organizations • community groups • neighborhood groups • private nonprofit Processing • canning • drying • baking Distribution & Sales • labels • grocers • restaurants • farmers markets
ALLIES • neighborhood groups • environmental groups • food organizations • economic development agencies
• health organizations • anti-crime groups • churches • schools
Dozens of categories of new urban work are created by city orchards. These are both onsite and related industrial and service jobs. Site Tender: • Check on plants, keeps log • basic tasks: compost, water, weed, mulch, fertilize, prune, non-toxic pest and disease control. Planting Organizer • coordinate planting days • call volunteers Educator/Teaching Aide Reporter Print, TV, web, video Graphic Designer slide shows, videos, photo albums, brochures & event posters. Hauler (trucks or bikes), fundraising, office work. 2. Signmaking 3. Flyering 6. Inventory publicly accessible fruits, nuts, berries. 7. Stock – Seek donations from nurseries. 9. Curriculum Developer 15. Fundraiser Toolmaking Tool repair Processing: cooking, canning, packing, drying, catering, selling Storage
Soils Fruit trees favor loam., formed by decay of
organic matter. Drains well, moderately fertile. Contains 45% minerals (50-60% sand, 25% clay, remainder silt), 5% organic matter, 25% water, 25% air, pH 6.0 - 7.0, microbes and earthworms. Soil texture: Mix of sand. silt, clay and organic particles affects drainage, pH, fertility, saturability. Sand: Low fertility. Clay: Fine particles, poor drainage Silt: sand/clay mix, good drainage and good fertility. Organic matter: best: 5-6% of soil. Decay nourishes soil, holds water and nutrients, feeds roots. Aerates microbes and earthworms .
Pest Control Prevent fungi,bacteria, virus: Select best varieties & sites. Regularly water, fertilize, feed, mulch. Clear diseased & dead plants. Use “Integrated Pest Management.”
Growing animal protein requires 8x more fossil fuel than plant protein yet nets only 1.4 times the protein. Beef requires 54:1 energy ratio(plus 100,000 liters of water per kilogram of meat). Chicken 4:1 (USDA)
WATER Something to Drink About
Three hundred years ago nearly all of America’s water was safe to drink, right from the lake. Deep clean waters full of big healthy fish. This is our aim again. Whether we drink it from bottle or tap, or chew it within food, most of us is H20. But we dump into it, we trash it, we poison it, we medicate it, we shit into it, we fluoridate it, we waste it. This damages public health, increases public costs, destroys habitat. Currently, fourteen million Angelenos (plus our cats and dogs) rely on local and imported water for drinking, cooking, bathing, laundry, pooping and lawns. Two-thirds of the region’s water is brought from the Sierra Mountains and Rocky Mountains, through aqueducts. The Metropolitan Water District aqueduct pushes water 1,500’ uphill during its first 127 miles. The Los Angeles Aqueduct flows downhill until it’s pumped 1,000’ feet over the Santa Monica Mountains. Reliance on imported water is subject to disruption by: 1. Climate instability : decreased mountain snow packs make both flood and drought more extreme. Recurrence ofthe 1976 shortage would require severe rationing. 2. Earthquake: most water crosses the San Andreas Fault and is piped to our houses across numerous local faults, as in 1971 quake. 3. Rising oil prices will raise the prices for pumping and filtering. 3. Power Failure: 1984 blackout required use of local wells for one-third L.A. city supply. 4. Sabotage: 1985 threat to put Plutonium in New York City water endangered millions. 5. Increased Demand: as local population grows and other regions require larger shares of Northern Califomian and Colorado River waters, less will be available to Los Angeles. Surprisingly, one third of Los Angeles’ water is piped up from beneath Los Angeles. It first arrives primarily either as rain upon the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains, or directly onto the basin, sinking into soil. Contrary to popular belief, the basement of this desert was once so wet that just 100 years ago powerful artesian wells spit blind cave fish.
Local groundwater can be disrupted by: 1. Drought: low-snowfall seasons in mountains and overdrafted wells can seriously cut supply. 2. Contamination: carcinogenic chemicals dumped from thousands of local industries destroy groundwater. Many wells have closed because toxics like trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, chloroform and tuolene are spreading beneath us. Storm drains chronically flush raw sewage and traffic poisons into the ocean. Recycled toilet water puts antibiotics and hormones into drinking water. Without major changes, the price of water will rise while the quality and availability decrease, for several reasons. There are solutions for each of these problems. Therefore, to rebuild the city so that it is more secure with half the water use, we’ll need NEW SOURCES: 1. Efficient use. 2. Rooftops. 3. Ocean water desalted The rest of this chapter introduces the tools yielding the following MAJOR BENEFITS: 1. Reduce dependence on imported water 2. Reduce dependence on imported oil. 3. Reduce dependence on oil. 4. Increase reliable regional supply. 5. Increase water healthfulness. 6. Reduce water costs. 7. Restore Los Angeles River. 8. Restore Owens Valley and Mono Lake. 9. Reduce ocean fouling of groundwater. 10. Reduce CO2 emissions. Xeriscaping: Summer lawns turn brown without plenty watering. Hosing them takes 30% of household water use. Xeri(dry) landscaping relies on plants that need little watering. Southern Californians are familiar with colorful “ice plant” massed along highways (edible but
nvasive), needing no irrigation. Otherwise, for most ground cover, small amounts of efficient drip irrigation suffice. Some examples: creeping juniper, moss pink, houseleek, cushion spurge, saltbush, kinnickinnick, periwinkle. When orchards are established their deep roots need little watering to provide fine food. Rooftop Catchment: Millions of gallons/year fall on city roofs. When all this is collected in eaves, filtered then held in reservoirs, we’ll gain secure direct supply. Much can be also be distilled directly for drinking, in rooftop greenhouses. Depaving: Millions of gallons/year of fresh rainwater falling on streets and parking lots are mixed with automobile toxics and fed through storm drains to the ocean. As the city is rebuilt to become more mobile with fewer cars, hundreds of square miles of smothered land will be freed to feed orchards and gardens, by absorbing rain. This will freshen air and revive groundwater. See FOOD for introduction to depaving machines. Recharge Basins: Diversion of rainwater and river overflow to storage in absorptive terrain is ready for dry seasons. There are already several major basins in the Los Angeles area; there can be more in each neighborhood. Greywater: Household recycling of sink and bathwater. Recycling Onsite, industrial and institutional: Cooling towners. Biodegradable Soaps: Contain no phosphate and is made up of biodegradable surfactants. Efficient Household Utilities: Low-flow showerheads, faucets, etc.
Compost Toilets: Here’s the biggest cultural shift. Shitting into clean water will be replaced by dry toilets that produce clean, sweet-smelling earth. We will no longer contaminate drinking water, groundwater and ocean water with human waste, nor waste millions of gallons of oil to pump water in and poop out. We will instead convert this waste into a healthy resource. Since half of Los Angeles’ household water use goes to flushing toilets, we’ll double the available local water supply and halve the need to import. Composting toilets are approved by the U.S. National Science Foundation and most local Departments of Health. They’re legally a plumbing fixture in several states. They’ve become common in state parks and replaced septic tanks in many in rural areas.
The reason that compost toilets don’t smell bad, and that the stuff in them is not hazardous, is that there are air pipes within that promote decay by air-breathing (aerobic) bacteria. Their byproduct is odorless methane gas, and pathogenfree residue, containing phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen, calcium and manganese. This contrasts with old-fashioned (but common worldwide) pit privies-- shitters-- that contain no air. The byproduct of their non-airbreathing (anaerobic) decay is hazardous muck and sulphurous stench. There are many styles of compost toilet. The model I consider best suited for broad urban use is the carousel-type unit. It completely separates hazardous fresh turd from safe decayed turd, by dividing the dump chamber into four parts. When one quadrant is filled, the chamber is rotated to an empty chamber. After several months or years the full chamber is unloaded, though by this time 95% of deposit has evaporated. Can we learn to love and use compost toilets? For centuries city dwellers poured their crap from windows onto streets, and pooped into pits. Humans then learned to use flush toilets, which are barbaric as well. Now we can learn to adopt the best of both poop worlds.
THE SOLUTION TO: Higher Taxes for sewer replacement and repair Reduced Services for libraries and pools Higher Public Debt High Unemployment Sewage in Basements Polluted Rivers Sink Holes Drought
Carousel Compost Toilet This model uses no water, so cuts our water bill in half, converts 95% of our wastes into odorless gas and sweet-smelling garden soil. Take a sniff. NSF approved, less maintenance than any flush toilet. Never break down. Go ahead, lean over the lid and smell the new earth. Isolated for two years, with air
Excreta Los Angeles’ water shortages can become surpluses within a few years, by adoption of a simple tool, the compost toilet. Half of clean household water is pooped and flushed. By contrast, waterless toilets convert excrement into safe, sweet-smelling garden soil. They’re aerated, so they outgas odorless methane. Installed presently in rural parks, they’re NSF-approved, common in Scandinavia, and soon inevitable in our desert cities. Building codes, take note. The L.A. basin's earliest people pooped on the ground where they wandered. Then early settlers dug smelly holes. Since 1863 Angelenos had socialized their excrement-- turd in sewers-- and drained it to rivers and creeks. They learned to operate and repair flush crappers. This became normal. Now, when challenged, it became sacred.
passing through, humanure becomes clean sanitary soil. If every building had these we'd save billions in facilities and fuel. That money could instead be spent tfor schools, libraries, swimming pools, parks, transit and ecolonization. The Los Angeles modem MWD sewer system brings clean water hundreds of miles from the Sierra Mountains, purifies it for drinking, pumps it over hills and into homes where the Angels shit into it. From there fouled water is pumped to treatment plants. At these reeking stations the mass was mixed with industrial toxins and greases, screened, then attacked with chemicals. The "clarified" liquid is poured into the Pacific Ocean, to the delight of swimmers. Remaining solids, 1,500,000 pounds per day, poisoned beyond redemption, are trucked 120 miles north. There it lays, an ever expanding gift to future civilizations, oozing into groundwater. The city budget for water and facilities required $250 million for the East Central Interceptor (ECIS). But even as sewer lines expand and extend, flush toilets will become silent, and removed. This drought plan can begin now or when it is too late.
Los Angeles Money: an Alternative to Riot and Rebellion Like the grinding rocks that make earthquakes there, the Los Angeles!forces of injustice have shaken that city again.! When police power rules, people will rebel, as did the founders of the United States. To conquer racism, in Los Angeles and everywhere, people need control of money, police, jobs, property and culture.! They cannot survive as subjects of hostile authority.
community can refuse to pay local property taxes until demands such as the following are met: *! South Central police are hired and fired by a commuhnuty board created by South Central churches and nonprofit organizations. * Free and frequent transit services connect the black community to the rest of L.A., funded by banks, insurance companies, utilities, industries
Because corporations seldom hire African-Americans, then pay poorly, leaving little income but drug sales, South Central residents can instead hire each other through a system of barter and exchange posts, as tens of thousands of Angelenos did during the Great Depression.! Rather than use money with slaveowners on it (Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson), South Central residents can use money!they respect and which gives them respect, featuring Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. IthacaĂ&#x2022;s Quarter HOUR is currently the only money in the U.S. which honors a person of color. Because banks suck money from black neighborhoods and spend it for white power (Community Reinvestment Act surveys prove this), African-Americans can establish Community Development Credit Unions which invest every penny in back-owned businesses.! Forthcoming issues of HOUR Town will describe such projects. And because taxes to the City of Los Angeles feed brutality, the unified South Central
and automobile sales/use fees.! Lack of transit was one!cause of the 1965 Watts rebellion. * All vacant lots in South Central are transferred to community land trusts and converted to orchards and gardens staffed and/or tended by neighbors.! The food is then sold by the growers at neighborhood farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets, or donated, decreasing dependence on grocery stores. If the City prefers to retaliate, as with service cuts, foreclosures and tax sales, South Central residents can as easily disconnect power and water service to rich neighborhoods.! This is tough talk, but white Americans under military occupation would do no less. Such progress by African-Americans in Los Angeles benefits all races in all cities, by helping establish proud commumnities independent of military, bureaucratic and corporate force.
Start a Local Currency System with book by this author
Hometown Money: How to Enrich Your Community with Local Currency paulglover.org/currencybook.html
FIVE-MINUTE HISTORY OF LOS ANGELES This place on earth is usually under the ocean. Every few million years rock pushes up to feel the sun. Mountains and lowlands change like slow clouds. Long ago the island of California touched here. As it sank a new west coast arrived. Soon big animals came to romp and sink, until twenty thousand years ago, when mastodon met man. Asians had crossed arctic ice to move here. They lived naked, covered with flowers from an endless rose bowl. They danced the porpoise dance and slept in the sun. Their word for ocean was "wow.â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; After several thousand years these first people saw a huge boat pass. Two hundred years later, in 1769, more strangers came walking. The outlanders built a farm school and taught indians Spanish ways to pray and work In 1781 another group of settlers started a village called EI Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula. Some of the villagers became ranchers and filled hills with cattle. Their quiet happy decades of rodeos, fiestas, siestas and serenades were spiced with revolts against Mexican law. Then in 1847 the American military seized Los Angeles and California. The Gold Rush of 1849 brought plenty Yankees fast. By 1870 they dominated the pioneers. Californio families were taxed from their lands. Pastures and thickets were torn out for wheat. Indians died of disease. Eager Anglo landlords chopped vast ranchos into city sizes, subdivided these to home lots and challenged "every human being to come to southern California on the next train." New Englanders followed glowing ads to the sunny subtropic. Midwesterners fled stormy prairies. Japanese emigrated to earn farms. Blacks sought a better South. During the 1880*s thousands planted orchards, relaxed on porches and watched fruit color.
By the 20th century a tenth-million people feasted on local food and shipped the surplus east. As the population doubled, again doubled and again, speedy trolleys spread newcomers from mountains to ocean. To build and crop further the exploding city needed more water. Wells were going deep and salty. in 1915 five thousand laborers opened a giant aqueduct 233 miles long which captured northern water from Owens Valley; killing cities there and enabling Los Angeles County to become the greatest garden in the United States. Angelenos lived snug amid two million orange trees, five million grapevines and other millions of all food from almonds to zucchini. Manufacturing for World War One triggered the Roar of the Twenties. Loud gushers smeared the air. Petroleum propelled automobiles to prim bungalows beyond streetcar routes. Moviemaking gave the nation mass drama and the city its spangled crown. Worldwide business collapse in the Thirties brought uprooted jobless here, to be jobless but warm. Then Los Angeles was roused by a second World War, in 1941, to fight as Americas capital of weaponry and smog. Postwar industry lured war veterans. Harvests were trampled by the swiftest housebuilding yet. The Great Walls of Los Angelesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; freeway system grew to link 2,000 square miles of humans. Factories clanged, tools made tools. Rockets, televisions, and cars whirled from assembly lines. Luxuries tumbled to consumers consuming for the pleasure of consumption. Today, lights of this basin beam far into space, signaling our premiere as the most adventurous city on earth, inviting our next adventure. Amazing Los Angeles History Calendar 1982
La Increíble Historia de
Este lugar de la tierra esta casi siempre sumergido debajo el oceano. Cada cuantos millones de años las rocas suben y sienten el calor del sol. Las montañas y llanuras cambian al igual que las lentas nubes. Hace mucho tiempo, la isla de California formaba parte de esta tierra. Al sumergirse esta ista, aparedd una costa nueva del oeste. Al poco rato, animales gigantes brincaban y correteaban, hasta veinte mil años, cuando el anastodonte se encontro con el hombre. Los asiasticos cruzaron el helado paso artico para venirse act. EIlos vivian desnudos, y andaban cubiertos de flores. Bailaban el baile de los delfines y dormian bajo el sol. Despues de unos miles de anos, estas primeras gentes vieron a un gran barco llegar a la costa. A los doscientos años, en 1769, llegaron mis forasteros, a pie. Los extranjeros construyeron una escuela-granja y ensenaron a los indios las maneras españolas del trabajo v el rezo. En 1781, otro grupo de colonos fundaron el pueblo de "Nuesira Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula." Algunos de los pobladores se hicieron rancheros. Pasaron decadas de paz, colmados por los rodeos, las fiestas y las siestas. Pero hubieron momentos chispeantes tambieira, producidos por las rebeliones dirijidas en contra de la ley mexicana. En 1847, el ejercito americano tomo a Los Angeles, y a California. La busqueda del oro de 1849 atrajo a muchos "Yanquis" en muy poco tiempo. Ya en 1870. estos hombres se establecieron mas en numero, que los propios pioneros. Las familias californienses tuvieron que dejar sus denras, debido a los altos impuestos. Se scnibr6 el tengo en los mismos pastes donde antes abundaban los ganados. Los indios se morlan de enfermedades. Los ansiosos patrones americanos dividieron a los extensos ranchos en parcelas de vivendas y granjas y desafiaban a "Toda persona humana a venir al sur de California en el proximo tren." Las gentes del noroeste de U.S.A. venian atraidos por los tentadores articulos de periodicos que hablaban de la California sub-tropical soleada. La gente del centro de U.S.A. huian de sus atormentadas praderas. Los japoneses emigraban para ganarse estas parcelas. Y los negros venian buscando a un mejorado E.U. del sur. Durante los anos 1880, miles de personas sembraron huertas y descansaban en sus porches, viendo florecer a sus
arboles frutales. Al llegar el siglo, la decima parte de un millon de habitantes comian sus comestibles y exportaban lo que les sobraba, al este. A medida que el número de habitantes doblaba una y otra vez, los tranvías esparcian a los nuevos forasteros desde las montañas hasta el oceano. Para seguir creciendo, la ciudad arroladora necesitaban más agua. Los pozos empezaban asecarse. Asi que, en 1913, cinco mil obreros abrieron un acueducto gigante de 522km de largo. Este acueducto traia agua procedente del norte, del valle "Owens," quedando secos, como consequencia, aquellos pueblos del norte. Por el otro lado, el condado de Los Angeles fue covertido en el mayor jardin de los E.E,U.U. Los “Angelenos” vivian comodamente entre dos millones de naranjos cinco mllones de parras y diversos alimentos, tan variados como la almendra, o el jicamo. Las fábricas de la Primera Guerra Mundial empezaron los “Enloquecidos del años '20." Los rugientes pozos manaban chorros de petróleo. Con la venida de la gasolina empezaron a abundar los carros, y por consiguiente las casetas que estaban fuera del alcance de los tranvías. El rodaje de peliculas cinematograficas entrego la nación drama, y a la ciudad, su primorosa corona. La Depresión economica de los años '30 hizo que la gente desarraigada y en para acudieron a Los Angeles si no para mas, para el sol. Entonces, en 1941, Los Angeles fue la capital de producción de armamentos de guerra y de "smog", al estallar una segunda Guerra Mundial. La industria post-guerra atrajo a los veteranos de la guerra. Las rapidísimas construcciones de viviendas pisotearon las tierras de cultivo. El gran sistema de autopistas de Los Angeles credo para poder conectar a 1500 millas cuadradas de personas. Las fabricas seguian a todo gas, grandes herramientas producían a la vez a otras herramientas. Televisores, carros y cohetes salieron disparados de las fábricas. Llovian los caprichos que los consumidores los consumieron para el mero gusto de consumir. Nuestras gentes son tan agradables como las flores que cuborian estas tierras. La Raza y los negros, pioneros desde hace 200 años, junto con los asiaticos son de nuevo más numerosos que los anglosajones. Pieles de todos los colores; del color de la noche, del humo, de la tierra, de madera, del fuego, de las conchas y de la arena se mezclan aqui, en la llanura. Nosotros nos peleamos, nos queremos, nos danamos y nos ayudamos. Somos unices. Los focos de nuestra poblacion senal que nos estrena como el quinto lugar mas poblado del mundo. Traducido por José Ramírez Cárdenas
Los Angeles: Una Historia del Futuro Como es de esperar, todo será distinto. El mundo cambiará a Los Angeles al achicar el imperio americano. América Del Sur, Africa, Asia, Canada y Mexico usaran sus tierras, petróleo, obra de mano y metales para su propio bien, y dejarán menos para las corporaciones estadounidenses. Planeando, haremos que nuestras vidas se vuelvan más seguras. ENERGIA El sol terminara por calentar y aclimatizar nuestras viviendas. La energía solar es capaz de mover máquinas, vehículos, y hasta aviones. Baterías fotovoltaicas podrán convertir la energía solar en energía electrica. FABRICACIONES Los vecinos se ocuparán de producir ropa de alta calidad, utensilios para el hogar y herramientas, todo esto con productos californienses de la naturaleza. TRANSPORTE Los transportes de hoy día derrochan energía. En el futuro, la gente de las ciudades se satisfacerán con andar para arriba y para abajo. Casi todas las personas que viven hoy verán en el futuro un Los Angeles sin carros. VIVENDAS Las casas estarán deseñadas de modo que conserven la energía solar durante el día, y la pongan en uso durante la noche. DEPURACION DE AGUAS RESIDUALES Los retretes de manibela usan agua normal. Los retretes de abono usan el oxígeno y las bacterías inofensivas para convertir el 95 por ciento de los desperdicios en un gas inoloro. El resultado, al cabo de los 2 años, es una tierra fértil y rica. Estos estercoleros sanitarios reemplazarán al sistema de retretes de manibelas de hoy dia. AGUA La mayor parte del agua usada en el condado de Los Angeles pasa por otras ciudades y estados antes de llegar aquí. Dependeremos más de la destilación solar del agua salada. COMIDA Al subir los precios de: los comestibles, combustibles y los transportes, y al incrementar la destrucciíon de las tierras de cultivo, no daremos cuenta que saldrá a la vez económica y saludable el cutivar de nuestras propias tierras. La tierra tendrá más valor agrícola que industrial. La comida vegetariana, que contiene productos muy saludables y que hoy en día se da de comer al ganado, llenarán nuestras mesas. Se sembrarán parques y huertas y habrán plantas hasta en los techos y por las parades, y la mayoría de las calles serán habitadas, para establecer de cultivo de plantas. Traducido por José Ramírez Cárdenas
Cities have reached out to destroy the sources of their existence. Millions of acres of farmland yield to suburb, manufacturing, and highway yearly. Life persists on a treelimb whose trunk is being killed. Control of natural resources passes to fewer corporations, which thus control our work options and cost of living. People flee cities and create the same problems elsewhere.
This can change. By transforming urban supply systems, cities can return to nature what they use. These processes can be controlled by citizens, primarily in neighborhoods. Environmentally sound communities can promise better-quality food and shelter at less cost; more joyous family, friendship and sex relations; and meaningful work for all.
GREEN YOUR CITY Bioregional possibilities for Los Angeles are very different than those for New York City, Mexico City, Berlin or Bombay. Each city will find architecture and technology best suited to their climate, regional resources, topography, and cultures. Citizen Planners are dedicated to principles such as those presented here.
OTHER BOOKS BY GLOVER • HOMETOWN MONEY: How to Enrich Your Community with Local Currency • HEALTH DEMOCRACY: Liberating Americans from Medical Insurance • DEEP GREEN JOBS • HOW TO TAKE POWER • GREEN JOBS PHILLY Glover is available for speaking and workshops in your community.
CHECK THESE OUT TOO: Architecture without Architects by Bernard Rudofsky Carfree Cities by J.H. Crawford Dwellers in the Land: the Bioregional Vision by Kirkpatrick Sale Earth Sheltered Housing Design by Underground Space Center Earthship by Michael Reynolds Ecocities by Richard Regster Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging by Ernest Callenbach The Edible City by Richard Britz From Eco-cities to Living Machines by John Todd
Going Local by Michael Shuman Permaculture I and II by Bill Mollison Self-Relinant Cities by David Morris