Nature

The Principal Region of the New West

The principal region of the New West is Los Angeles County. It covers 4,752 square miles and contains nearly ten million residents (more than the individual populations of forty-two U.S. states). Despite its infamous reputation as a chaotic, unplanned accident, there is a deliberate structure to this metropolis's decentralized character.

The animated maps of  the Getty Research Institute illustrate the evolution of  four waves of technological innovation in the New West. They are part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., a Getty initiative that brings together local cultural institutions for a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of Los Angeles, from its famous residential architecture to its vast freeway network, revealing the city's development and ongoing global impact in new ways.

 

Networks and Settlements of Los Angeles

This animated map illustrates the history of this region's transportation routes and evolving settlement patterns. Source: Getty Research Institute, Philip J. Ethington with Samuel Krueger and Adrian Almer, 2013.

Landscape Infrastructure of Los Angeles

This animated map illustrates the many factors that make up this region's diverse physical landscape. Source: Getty Research Institute and Mia Lehrer Landscape Architects, 2013.

Population, Economy, and Conflict of Los Angeles

This animated map illustrates the region's complex civic, social, and economic evolution. Source: Getty Research Institute, Philip J. Ethington with Samuel Krueger and Adrian Almer, 2013.

Innovation Adoption in the New West

Like no other place in recent history, the American West is a pure form of modern city development. Innovative industries, public institutions, and urban lifestyles have emerged and grown in conjunction with the discovery and exploration of wide-open land. Contrary to Eastern and European cities, where industrialization and urbanization evolved as radical transformations of agricultural societies, the unique architectural landscape of the American West was shaped by following four waves of technological innovation:

- Age of Steam, Railway, and Mechanization

- Age of Steel, Electricity, and Heavy Engineering

- Age of Oil, Automobile, Airplane, and Mass Production

- Age of Information, Communication, and Big Data

These platforms drive economies, social organizations, as well as the physical form of land, architecture, and cities themselves. Each wave of innovation creates a new opportunity to extract and exploit additional value from that which already existed. For cities to thrive, they have adapted to the introduction of transportation, energy grid, logistics, and internet platforms, until we land at the threshold of the 21st Century, where the New West is moving towards a balance of human potential, technological innovation, and nature.  

 This diagram illustrates the adoption of technology innovations in the urban development of the New West.  Source: WOWA WEST, 2017.

This diagram illustrates the adoption of technology innovations in the urban development of the New West. Source: WOWA WEST, 2017.

New West explores - from a client, owner, investor and user point of view - the architecture, cities, innovation, nature, and real estate that are shaping the evolution of the architectural landscape of the West. Innovation is found where traditionally opposing forces converge; at the intersection.