Long Beach as a Port City
Long Beach City, otherwise known as the 'LBC' is one of the most important cities in the Los Angeles County. The city has a population of about 465,000 people, and it is the seventh largest city in California.1 Long Beach is very culturally diverse, and it contains some very important landmarks that add a lot of historical value to the Los Angeles County. What sets Long Beach apart from all of the other cities in Los Angeles, is the port of Long Beach. This port is the second busiest port in the United States, handling $155 billion dollars a year and employing 1.4 million Angelinos.2 The port has greatly evolved to become the port that it is today, and its history will be discussed below.
The port is so significant to Long Beach because it has greatly contributed to making Long Beach a global city. The port of Long Beach opens up the United States to the rest of the world, especially Asia. Currently, most of the clothing, electronics, furniture, and other goods that Americans buy come from Asian countries, to the port of Long Beach. With the growth of the port, more infrastructure has been built, more jobs have been offered, more opportunities for investment have sprouted, and the city has evolved a much bigger economy. The growth of Long Beach has increased investment, population, city projects, schools, media attention, tourist attractions, and ethnic communities in the city. Long Beach is not only very ethnically diverse, but economically diverse as well. There is a population that enjoys a high socioeconomic social status, but the majority of the population, especially the communities of color come from a very low socioeconomic status. There have been several ethnic minorities that have formed communities within Long Beach like Cambodians, Samoans, Latinos, and African-Americans. They have been represented though several works of film, literature, and media. Long Beach is a global city, that contributes a lot to the LA County. As a global city it is connected to the rest of the world economically, industrially, and culturally. It is a city that has grown throughout the years, and it has evolved into a city unlike any other.
The History of the Port
Throughout the past 100 years, the port of Long Beach has really developed into one of the most important trading ports in the world. It started when Charles H Windham, who is known as the "Father of the Long Beach Harbor", took a main role in ensuring that the port would be successful. He was the mayor of Long Beach in the early 1900's and along with the leadership of Los Angeles, they realized that there needed to be a port that would connect the Western United States with the rest of the world. Windham made sure that this port would be built in the city of Long Beach and serious construction began in 1909. Long Beach seemed ideal because it was so close to Los Angeles, and Angelinos were ready to support its construction. Serious expansion of the port really took off during the 1930's because oil was found in the area. During this time, several more terminals were built and the port started becoming more industrialized. Another turning point for the port happened during the 60's because this was the time that containerization really took effect. This allowed fort the commercialization of the port because containerization allowed for the mass transport of goods all around the world.
Since 1909 the port has greatly grown, a lot more platforms have been added, and headquarters have been implemented to ensure the most efficient administration. The port was growing at such an astounding pace, during the recent years that the Long Beach community started to voice complaints about the environmental harm that the port was creating. This is why in the year 2005 the port adopted a groundbreaking Green Port Policy which makes sure that environmental protection is a priority for the port. Currently, the port holds environmentally-friendly festivals to embrace its 'Green Port' Policy.While there still needs to be a lot of work done to ensure the maximum environmental sustainability for the port, this has been a very important first step in its environmental achievements.3
By: Katherine Herrera
Background Image: Wikemedia Commons
Bird's Eye view of APL terminal in Port of L.A./Long Beach.
2 November 2006
1. "The City of Long Beach" About the City. City Manager, Long Beach City Websitehttp://www.longbeach.gov/citymanager/maprogram/city.asp
2. "A World Leader" Facts at a Glance. Port of Long Beach: The Green Port http://www.polb.com/about/facts.asp
3. "100 Years of History" 100 Centennial Celebration. Port of Long Beach: The Green Port http://polb100.com/history/
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