Urban Renewal by the Sea: Reinventing the Beach for the Suburban Age in Postwar Los Angeles

Devienne, Elsa (2019) Urban Renewal by the Sea: Reinventing the Beach for the Suburban Age in Postwar Los Angeles. Journal of Urban History, 45 (1). pp. 99-125. ISSN 0096-1442

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0096144217753379


Urban renewal was not just a city phenomenon: it also unfolded on the beaches of coastal metropolises, most spectacularly in Los Angeles where a “beach lobby” made up of public officials, businessmen, and engineers coalesced in the 1930s. In the postwar, they implemented their vision by buying beaches for the public and turning the polluted and eroded strands of the early-twentieth century into modern playgrounds. While they effectively prevented a “white flight” from the beach and successfully reshaped the coastal environment, their efforts also resulted in the erasure of alternative beach communities. By the 1960s, the lobby could rejoice in the enduring popularity of the city’s beaches. Yet new beach advocates used the California public beach tradition as a rallying cry to stop further development. “Beach renewal” in Los Angeles thus challenges both narratives of postwar urban decline and the binary opposition between 1930s conservationists and 1960s environmental activists.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Los Angeles, Ocean Park, beaches, urban renewal, white flight, environmentalism, gay men, African Americans, Muscle Beach
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2019 16:37
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:03
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40777

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics