Chapter

City of a Thousand Rivers: The Emergence of an Urban Ecosystem, 1884–1914

Jared Orsi

in Hazardous Metropolis

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238503
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930087 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238503.003.0002
City of a Thousand Rivers: The Emergence of an Urban Ecosystem, 1884–1914

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Between 1884 and 1914, explosive urbanization turned the region's collection of towns, farms, and open space with a widely dispersed population of thirty-three thousand inhabitants into a metropolis of half a million. As they built a city, southern Californians also built a new ecosystem, in which environmental perceptions, commercial activities, ethnic relations, and physical elements of the urban landscape had as much influence on the flow of water as climate, topography, and geology did. These urban features enabled smaller floods to do more damage. Thus, between the floods of 1884 and 1914, southern Californians constructed the city of a thousand rivers.

Keywords: urbanization; southern California; urban landscape; floods; flooding

Chapter.  9901 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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