Canals and Rivers
Venice and Amsterdam ("The Venice of the North") are the two cities best known for their networks of canals. Until modern times, Bangkok had an extensive canal system, but it was filled in and paved. In all of these cities, the canals once served a major role in freight delivery. (Remember that slow-speed water-borne transport is quite energy efficient, which favored it when energy was a major constraint on commercial activities.)
In both Venice and Amsterdam, the canals have had great influence upon the appearance of the city. In Venice, the canals are still the only significant means of freight delivery, whereas in Amsterdam commercial uses of the canals have nearly disappeared.
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