In North America many cities have been located on major rivers. In the past the rivers have played a major part in the growth of the cities and they still have a strong influence on the cities today. Minneapolis is located on the Mississippi river and has a population of 413,000 people. The city lies on the banks of the Mississippi just to the north of its confluence with the Minnesota River. The city grew as it was surrounded by lakes and rich agricultural soils. However, the Mississippi did not create the many lakes that are found in the region as they were post glacial lakes. The largest city on the Mississippi is Memphis with a population of 650,000 people. The city is located to the south of where the river’s confluence with the Wolf River. This area was once occupied by North American Indians as the flood plains produced rich agricultural soils.
It then became popular for European settlers as the river provided an important transport route as trade made its way along the river. The city itself is on a bluff above the river so it has always been free from flooding. The San Francisco bay area is dominated by the Cites of San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco. It is where the Sacramento River and the Joaquin Rivers meet, eventually being joined by the Napla River before pouring into the Pacific Ocean. The area of gave ideal sites for population as the cities were located above the flood plains. The region is rich in soils and has a strong agricultural community and people were originally attracted into the area as a result of the Californian gold rush
The bay is now crossed by the Golden Gate Bridge and in the centre is Alcatraz Island where the famous prison was sited. The area is a flourishing today with many industries being attracted into the region by the quality of life that is associated with it. The Chicago River is only 250 km long but is important as it flows through the centre of the City acting as a route-way between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley Waterways basin. The river has been partly affected by man as the system of canals were built in order to reverse the flow and reduce the risk of flooding.
The city of Chicago has thrived as it now can do business as far north as Canada and as far south as New Mexico as a result of the river. As Chicago has thrived economically its river has suffered by being polluted and now many regulations are in place to protect the river In Canada there are also many cities that are influenced by rivers. The Ottawa River rises in the Laurentian Mountains in Central Quebec flowing for 1200km before entering into the St Lawrence River near Montreal. Along its route it passes through Ottawa the capital of Canada. The city is widely known as one of the best cities in the world in which to live and a large part of this is due to the beauty of the River Ottawa’s valley. The city is actually located next to the Gatineau River and the Rideau River as well and the rich flood plains have provided rich agricultural lands for the local population.
The St Lawrence River connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It acts as the national boundary between the United States and Canada and flows for 3000 km from its source on Lake Ontario to its mouth as it enters the Atlantic. The location of Quebec City was sited where it currently is as a result of the narrowing of the St Lawrence River. The city is the oldest in North America and as well as the River being vital for its water supply and its defense purposes, it was also important as it provided a gateway for trade routes inland for the new European settlers. North America has some of the most influential rivers in the world.