Los Angeles (LA) is located in Southern California which takes place in the western part of the United States (US). With its 3,792,621 population, it is the second most crowded city in US. However, LA must be considered as a metropolitan area instead of a city. With 18 million inhabitants, the Greater Los Angeles Area, which includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties, is the largest metropolitan area of the world. Being one of the leading centres in terms of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology and education makes here the third wealthiest region in the world.
BY DR. FATIH EREN | APRIL 12, 2013
It should be stated that some illegal activities in this region have a great role in the creation of this wealth. This region is one of the most important production/distribution centres of drug and adult movie industries, in which large sums of money circuit.
For globalisation studies, LA should be considered as an open urban laboratory because here is a place where is affected very much from varied global flows as well as strongly affecting the world in cultural terms. On one hand, the centre of Hollywood takes place in this region. Most of motion pictures, television productions, stage productions, video games and recorded albums, which dominate the world’s entertainment sector more than a hundred year, are produced here. These productions play a key role in the spread of American culture to the world. On the other hand, LA is one of the most complex and diverse regions in terms of ethnicity and religion in the world. Having a great Mediterranean climate, the dramatic growth of some sectors such as oil, automobile, rubber, motion pictures and aerospace after World War I and ‘the California Dream’ factor attracted many people from different countries to this region. From an ethnic point of view, 62.1% of all immigrants in this region came from Latin and Central America while 28.9% of them came from Asia. From a religious point of view, the region was subject to a Buddhist migration from Taiwan, Thailand, Srilanka, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam; to a Christian migration from Philippines, South Korea, Eritrea and Ethiopia; to a Jains and Hindus migration from India and to a Muslim migration from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran, especially after 1965. Many people from every nation and from every religion live together in LA today so this region is called as ‘minority-majority state’.
Interestingly, despite ranking at the top of global city indexes every year, from many point of view LA does not display a real global city character because even though it has a power to affect the world culturally, it has no global power to control the world. When examines, it is seen that very few of the headquarters of international companies are accommodated in LA. Here is also not a financial centre. International banks and financial institutions have not settled their headquarters in LA. However, this region is a very important destination for world trade. LA sets down its importance to its twin ports [Long Beach and Los Angeles] and to trade partnerships which are established between LA and several countries [especially strong Asian countries]. The biggest trading partners of the region are China, Japan and South Korea in turn. The value of two-way trade [import and export] between LA and these countries reached $190,4 billion, $53,3 billion and $24,3 billion respectively in 2010. It should be noted that transportation links in the region are very strong. Despite its advantageous geo-political position and developed infrastructure, this region entertains several natural disaster risks such as earthquakes, drought, wildfires, flood, heatwaves, hurricane, tornadoes, tsunami, volcano and winter storms (Community Emergency Response Team Los Angeles, 2012).