Transportation and Economic Activity
The oldest and most economically, socially, and politically
developed cities in the world are located on the coasts of the major
continents. This is no surprise since water transportation is the oldest form
of established transportation in the world. In the United States, cities like
Philadelphia and New York were established centuries ago because of access to
the Atlantic Ocean.
However, a similar pattern can be found in the United States
with inland cities, such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Detroit, Michigan.
While these cities do not have access to coastal waters, they are situated near
inland waterways. Also unique to these two cities was their manufacturing
specialization: steel in Pittsburgh and automobiles in Detroit. Using the information
contained in this chapter:
1. Explain what role transportation played in the
development of these two cities.
2. Discuss what factors would lead to their manufacturing
3. Identify any other benefits to a city or geography that manufacturing
specialization would create.