Cities, Buildings, People: Towards Regenerative Environments


The City of Los Angeles holds many distinctions. LA is the entertainment capital of the world, a cultural mecca boasting more than 100 museums, and a paradise of good weather. From tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame’s collection of stars (numbering 2,553, and growing by one or two a month) to career opportunities like those presented in the expanding tech industry, Los Angeles is the place to be. It is the only city in North America to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice. Downtown LA is the largest government center outside of Washington, D.C. Los Angeles has the only remaining wooden lighthouse in the state (located in San Pedro’s Fermin Park) and the largest historical theater district on the National Register of Historic Places (located Downtown on Broadway).

Los Angeles is on the leading edge of several growth industries. LA County, with more than 87,000 jobs in the fashion industry, has surpassed New York’s fashion district workforce. The LA five-county area also has more than 700,000 people at work in health services/biomedical activities and 190,000 people in aerospace/technology. Here are some more facts and figures about Los Angeles: the city, the county and the region.

Sept. 4, 1781 is the city’s official birthdate, when 44 village settlers from the Mexican provinces of Sonora and Sinaloa made their home in what is now Downtown Los Angeles. Two of the 44 settlers were Spaniards, while the others were Indians, Blacks and Mestizos of mixed ancestry. The Spanish named the new settlement El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles, or The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels. After the territory changed hands from Spain to Mexico, the town was officially declared a city in 1835. Los Angeles became part of the U.S. in January 1847.

Los Angeles spans a widely diverse geographic area. Primarily a desert basin, the area is surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountain range and divided by the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles County has 75 miles of coastline and altitudes ranging from 9 feet below sea level at Wilmington to 10,080 feet above sea level atop Mt. San Antonio. Area Rivers include the Los Angeles, Rio Hondo, San Gabriel, and Santa Clara rivers.

There are 88 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County ranging from Vernon (population 112) to Los Angeles city (population 3.8 million). If the Los Angeles five-county area were a state, it would surpass all states in total population size with the exception of California, Texas, New York and Florida. The County of Los Angeles alone would be the eighth most populated state, behind Ohio and ahead of Georgia, with 10.1 million people. Los Angeles is the first in the nation to reach 10 million residents.

The diverse, multiethnic population of Los Angeles today distinguishes the city as the cultural hub of the Pacific Rim. In fact, Los Angeles is one of only two U.S. cities without a majority population. People from 140 countries, speaking approximately 86 different languages, currently call Los Angeles home.

Los Angeles is notorious for its urban sprawl interconnected by large interstate highways. Upon arriving to L.A. you will quickly find that most destinations need to be reached by either car or public transit. To make things easy for you, we have broken down the most efficient ways to get to and around the city.

How to get from LAX to Downtown Los Angeles

• Rental Car

LAX offers 40 rental car companies located off-site. Most of these companies provide phone links inside or near baggage claim on the Lower/Arrival Level of the terminals so travelers can request a free shuttle pick up to reach the rental car sites. The following is a list of rental car companies that pick-up and drop-off customers from the terminals using courtesy shuttles. If you are using one of these companies, you can meet your shuttle under the purple sign “Rental Car Shuttles.”















• Bus

LAX FlyAway buses offer regularly scheduled round trips between each terminal to the locations listed below. These buses pick up passengers on the Lower/Arrival Level islands in front of each terminal under the green sign “FlyAway, Buses & Long Distance Vans.”

- Van Nuys (San Fernando Valley)

- Union Station (Downtown Los Angeles)*

- Westwood (West Los Angeles/UCLA)

- Santa Monica (on the west side of 2nd Street, north of Colorado Ave.)

- Hollywood (northeast corner of Selma Ave. and Argyle Ave. - one block south of Hollywood Blvd.)

- Orange Line (south side of Victory Blvd., east of Woodley Ave., along the Metro Orange Line bus route)

- Long Beach (northwest corner of 1st St. and Long Beach Blvd.)

*For the Millennium Biltmore Hotel (PLEA 2016), get off at Union Station. From there you can either take a 10 min. taxi or 13 min. metro ride (Purple or Red line, exit Pershing Square) to the hotel.

More information: http://www.lawa.org/flyaway/default.aspx#FFares

• Taxi

Taxis can be found curbside on the Lower/Arrival Level islands in front of each terminal under the yellow sign “Taxi.” Passengers will be presented with a ticket showing typical fares to major destinations. Currently, the flat fare for trips between LAX and downtown is $46.50.

Uber and Lyft drivers are permitted to pick up LAX travelers. We recommend downloading the Uber or Lyft Iphone/Android app to request a driver at any time.



• Public Transportation

A free shuttle bus service is available to take you to the Metro Green Line - Aviation Station. You can meet the shuttle under the LAX Shuttle & Airline Connections sign on the Lower/Arrival Level islands in front of each terminal, and board the “G” shuttle.

You can also take the “C” shuttle from the same pick-up point to get to the Metro Bus Center where you can board city buses serving the Los Angeles area. Information on city bus services is available by telephone on the Information Display Board in the baggage claim area of each terminal. You can also access this information by calling 323-GO-METRO or 323-466-3876.

Metro Rail/Bus Trip Planner:


Getting to the Millennium Biltmore from Union Station

Metro Rail Red Line to North Hollywood - exit Pershing Square Station


Metro Rail Purple Line to Wilshire/Western - exit Pershing Square Station

Plan your Metro Trip:


Getting around Downtown Los Angeles

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel is right in the heart of DTLA, with plenty of popular attractions within walking distance. For destinations farther than walking distance, the easiest way to get around DTLA is either by taxi or metro.

Attractions within walking distance of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel:

The Broad Museum

Walt Disney Concert Hall

MOCA Grand Avenue

Bradbury Building

Grand Central Market

The Last Bookstore

Plan your Metro Trip:


The closest Metro station to the Millennium Biltmore is the Pershing Square station serviced by the Purple Line and Red Line.

Plan your Taxi Trip:

Uber - convenient Iphone/Android app that allows you to book a driver at any time, any location (uber.com)

Lyft - convenient Iphone/Android app that allows you to book a driver at any time, any location (lyft.com)

Local Los Angeles taxis available curbside. A few local taxi companies listed below:

LA Yellow Cab



Independent Cab Co.



United Independent Taxi



Where to park in Downtown Los Angeles

Millennium Biltmore Parking:

No self parking, valet only.

Self Parking:

There are plenty of public parking structures available in downtown Los Angeles. The lot closest to the Millennium Biltmore is on the corner of Olive and 5th, they offer daily parking to surrounding attractions, including the Biltmore. Please call for rates (213) 746-5764. They accept Visa and Mastercard.

What about Bikes?

Biking in Los Angeles has recently become a popular mode of transportation, made possible by the LADOT Bike Program. This Bicycle program is a group within the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s Active Transportation Division who work relentlessly to implement new bikeways throughout the city.

The City of Los Angeles Metro system is currently implementing a bike share program that will begin in the Spring of 2016. It will host 65 stations and more than 1,000 bikes throughout downtown. We will keep you posted with information once the bike share program opens.

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