CityTV videos explore threats to suburbs like Lakewood
As America’s largest suburban development in the 1950s, Lakewood is proud of its history and origins. However, new state mandates, influenced by harshly critical views of suburbs, are likely to change how residential communities like Lakewood look in the future. The state rules may force communities to densify by allowing more housing into smaller spaces and change rather than preserve existing neighborhoods.
Lakewood’s CityTV has produced two new videos that explore these threats. “How the Suburbs Happened” and “Suburbs Threatened” provide a historical overview and a troubling look at the attitudes and policies in our state that many have called anti-suburban.
“How the Suburbs Happened” shows how Native American villages, Mexican-era ranchos, the coming of railroads in the 19th century, and the placement of trolley stops in the early 20th century shaped the transportation systems and suburbanization of the Los Angeles basin in the years following World War II.
That history matters, argues USC history professor William Deverell, one of several guests interviewed for the series. “Los Angeles has a bad rap, in that people accuse it of being a history-less place. And frankly, nothing could be further from the truth. It's like any human community. It's deep in history; it's rich in history.”
“Suburbs Threatened” picks up the story of the suburbs at a time when new state mandates, influenced by harshly critical views of suburbanization, are likely to change how suburban places like Lakewood will look in the future. Greater density and more intense development are ahead for suburban communities, city officials fear, rather than the preservation of existing neighborhoods.
Watch CityTV on channel 31 on FiOS TV and Time Warner Cable. See it streaming live at www.lakewoodcity.org/CityTV and find videos at www.youtube.com/CityTVLakewoodCA or www,vimeo.com/CityTVLakewoodCA.