1 proximity to parks & access to open space, 2 air quality, and 3 water supply & quality.
The environment where people live, work, and play is a key component of quality of life. Environmental pollutants also have a sizeable impact on health, “with around one fourth of the global burden of diseases deemed to be associated with poor environmental conditions.”181 While the health impacts associated with our surroundings are not always readily apparent, our environs elicit a visceral response. People intrinsically “attach importance to the beauty and the cleanliness of the place where they live.”182
Although environmental conditions in Los Angeles are not ideal, the environmental quality of the city and the region has been steadily improving for decades. And there is no sign that the trend will reverse.
Heavily Latino neighborhoods have only 0.6 park acres per 1,000 people; African American communities have 1.7 park acres per 1,000 people; and largely Caucasian communities have 31.8 park acres per 1,000 residents.173
—Richard Jackson, Chair & Professor, Environmental Health & Urban Planning, UCLA
Indeed, the story of environmental quality in Los Angeles is one of tremendous progress. While there are still missed opportunities, the region’s environmental trajectory is promising.
Environmental Quality in 2050 moves from “hindering human development” to “enhancing human development.” Los Angeles’ air quality is steadily improving. Plans, policies, and initiatives in the works are having considerable positive effects, and track record of past decades is encouraging. The state has identified the Bay-Delta as a serious issue, and mitigation plans are currently underway as officials devise a permanent solution. Local water agencies are increasing their share of local water sources that are more sustainable and secure. The environment of 2050 will almost certainly be better than it is today if we continue down our current path.