Los Angeles is a vibrant and diverse city, with a unique culture and history that sets it apart from other cities. The Los Angeles City Charter, ratified by voters in 1999, created a system of consultative neighborhood councils that represent the diversity of stakeholders in the city. These councils are relatively autonomous and spontaneous, as they identify their own boundaries, establish their own statutes, and elect their own officials. There are about 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles.
Residents of the city also elect supervisors for the first, second, third, and fourth oversight districts. Los Angeles is home to many colleges and universities, including the prestigious Claremont Colleges Consortium. The city also has an extensive public transportation system, with Metrolink and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority providing rail service, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) directly contracting local and commuter bus service. Union Station is the main train station in the city, located just north of the city center.
The city is also known for its entertainment industry, with numerous singers, actors, celebrities, and other artists living in various districts of Los Angeles. Food trucks in parking lots, small restaurants in nondescript malls, and street vendors are an invaluable part of the Los Angeles dining scene. The city is home to eleven top-tier professional sports teams, many of which use “Los Angeles” in their name even though they play in neighboring communities. The four major broadcast television networks—ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC—all have production facilities and offices in various areas of Los Angeles.
Some communities and neighborhoods have been so intertwined with each other for so long that it’s hard to imagine them living without each other. This is especially true for Chinatown and The Great Wall of Los Angeles—the mural created by Chicano artist Judith F. Baca in collaboration with community groups along a stretch of the paved river in Los Angeles—which both address the misuse and abuse of water. Los Angeles is often characterized by its low-rise buildings compared to New York City.
Since the city and county are intertwined geographically, culturally, and economically, any consideration of Los Angeles must involve both entities. In 1910, Hollywood merged with Los Angeles; at that time there were already 10 film companies operating in the city. With an average of 263 sunny days and only about 35 humid days a year, residents of the Los Angeles County area enjoy around 3000 hours of sunshine a year—more than enough to bask in one of the mountains of L. A.Drivers in Los Angeles suffer from one of the worst rush hour periods in the world according to an annual traffic index prepared by navigation system manufacturer TomTom.
Outside some centers such as Downtown, Warner Center, Century City, Koreatown, Miracle Mile, Hollywood and Westwood, skyscrapers and high-rise buildings are not common in Los Angeles.