The Missouri River – DM

The map I drew depicts the south side of my home town, where you’ll see housing development, farm land, and at the Missouri River. Columbia, MO is in the dead center of the U.S., which means we are land locked and the largest bodies of water you’ll find around here are rivers — with the exception of the Lake of the Ozarks if you heads little further south. The Missouri River cuts just below Columbia, and is actually a good drive away from the main part of town. It’s mostly surrounded by farm land at this point, and the river has been used for agriculture for centuries now. What was interesting when comparing my hometown’s river to the bodies of water in Amsterdam from Delta Urbanisms is how both have been used for transportation in the 19th century primarily. Missouri was a hub for the fur trades that had begun, and when picked up in the 19th century, the Missouri River was used to travel across the land to make trades and barter. Meanwhile in Amsterdam, national-policy was working to promote trade amongst the bodies of war there, where communication networks and effective routes were prioritized. A lot of major cities developed close to Missouri’s River, including my own town Columbia, our capitol, Jefferson City, and two of our bigger cities, St. Louis and Kansas City. Similarly compared to Delta Urbanisms, it appears that the development of Afsluitdijk and Delta works establish major urban developments among the costliness.

Rivers and bodies of water that are manageable to travel on appear to become central parts to economies and trading industries. It’s interesting how the markets can be wildly different on two different sides of the world, however, both bodies of water are used in the same fashion. The one thing that stuck out to me after examining my own town’s works of water was finding the reasoning behind why my town would be almost a 20 minute drive form the river — because, while close enough to make it there for travel and trade, it does seem quite further compared to cities like St. Louis and Kansas City, and most certainly Amsterdam.


3 thoughts on “The Missouri River – DM

  1. The relationship you note between local urban development and national trade policy is interesting–perhaps worth noting later on when we talk about sustainability.


  2. Being from Kansas City, Kansas myself, I really connected with your reflection as I was very familiar with all the cities and the bodies of water that you described. My hometown is also landlocked; lakes, rivers, and ponds are the major bodies of water surrounding us. I liked how you noted that though markets can be vastly different in various areas around the world, the bodies of water are used in the same way, being a central part of our economies. This is important because it really connects us all together knowing that towns across the country utilize bodies of water in similar ways, despite the rest of our differences. The Lake of the Ozarks specifically, contributes largely to the economy in Missouri as it is a prime spot for travel and tourism and attracts people from all over the Midwest.


  3. You make interesting comparisons between the Missouri River and the water features of the Netherlands. Not being from the Midwest, I know next to nothing about the development or the economy of those cities, so it is interesting as you pointed out how people throughout history have used waterways in similar fashions.

    Does any flooding or natural hazards produced by the Missouri River impact your town or others nearby? If so what kind of manmade reinforcements have been put in place if any? What struck me in these chapters is the meticulous nature of creating effective use of land in the Netherlands which I haven’t really seen in the United States, so I’d be curious to know if there have been any interventions of the river such as dams to make it malleable to the trading economy in the 19th century.


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