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Keywords:

  • beaches;
  • California;
  • coastal access;
  • Los Angeles;
  • public place.

ABSTRACT. In the public-space discourse Los Angeles is usually portrayed as more “anti-city” than city. Its landscape is overrun by houses, “private-public” squares and plazas, theme parks, shopping malls, and so on and lacks inclusive public places. Yet this discourse has essentially disdained to contemplate a major public space that contradicts its general thesis: the Los Angeles coast. The coast is meaningful public place in two specific senses. First, it symbolizes Los Angeles as a whole and therefore provides a basis for regional public identity. Second, Angelinos themselves take the coast seriously as a public place, and they have striven to make it inclusive in practice.