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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2016, 2:34 AM
cjreisen cjreisen is offline
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Urban Canals - USA

Hey guys, this is unfortunately more a thread of my own personal curiosity and inquiry, rather than me showcasing something. But I'm wondering if anyone can show me examples of urban canals developed in the US? I really value and love the Amsterdam model, so I'd love to see if we have something similar in the US.

Some great notable examples of cities with notable canals or riverwalks for me seem to be: San Antonio, Indianapolis, Frederick - MD, are there any other examples? Please post pictures.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2016, 5:07 AM
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2016, 5:59 AM
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What about rivers converted to canals? Seattle connected Lake Washington to the Puget Sound a century ago, including a locks and two sections of fresh water canals where streams used to exist.
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2016, 3:44 AM
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2016, 9:40 PM
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Well they are probably not the type of canals you are thinking about but New Orleans and it's urban area are laced with canals.

Also there are old mill towns like Lawrence and Lowell Massachusetts....old mill towns tend to have had canals and some others might also have saved/renovated them.

I think also Richmond Virginia has a few left

Last edited by toddguy; Jul 17, 2016 at 9:52 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 18, 2016, 2:38 PM
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Here's a picture I took a few months ago from the Venice Beach Canals.
https://www.instagram.com/emjaydiaz/
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Old Posted Jul 18, 2016, 3:44 PM
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Phoenix metro's canals have been almost exclusively utilities for about 50 years, but since about 2000 there has been some development and improvement along them. Primary example is Scottsdale waterfront:



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Old Posted Jul 22, 2016, 10:52 PM
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2016, 7:00 PM
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Omaha?

Reflection of Omaha by Jon, on Flickr
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 1:00 AM
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Buffalo, NY, still has some locks along the old original Erie Canal route. They have also excavated some of the original Erie Canal terminus, and boat slips.

Rochester, NY, still has the Erie Canal going through town, including the canal going over a river.

Houston has the shipping channel that provides access to the ocean for industries.

St. Catharines, ON, Canada, has the current Welland Canal going through town, but the second version of the canal (the current canal is the fourth version) still goes through the middle of town and has flowing water through parts of it.

Otherwise, it seems that the places listed already: Venice Beach in Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and New Orleans, are the only places with an Amsterdam-style network of canals.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 2:21 AM
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New England mill towns are where you want to look: Lowell in particular, but also Manchester, Nashua, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and even Providence itself.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 2:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
New England mill towns are where you want to look: Lowell in particular, but also Manchester, Nashua, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and even Providence itself.
Most of those aren't canals; they're mill races. The distinction, obviously, is that canals handle boat traffic, whereas mill races are like power lines made of water that go straight to/into mills and factories.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 3:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Most of those aren't canals; they're mill races. The distinction, obviously, is that canals handle boat traffic, whereas mill races are like power lines made of water that go straight to/into mills and factories.
I've never realized that, but since you point it out, now it's obvious to me. Makes total sense.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 4:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
I've never realized that, but since you point it out, now it's obvious to me. Makes total sense.
I almost wanted to list Wilmington as a city with a canal, but our "canal" is a millrace as well. But there are definitely different types of artificial bodies of water, and artificial streamflows.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 6:38 AM
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River Walk and Museum Reach, San Antonio, Texas:





















Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario:







Riverwalk, Milwaukee, Wisconsin:













Indiana Central Canal, Indianapolis, Indiana:













Arizona Canal, Scottsdale, Arizona:







All photos taken by geomorph in 2008-2010.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 10:33 AM
toddguy toddguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Most of those aren't canals; they're mill races. The distinction, obviously, is that canals handle boat traffic, whereas mill races are like power lines made of water that go straight to/into mills and factories.
They might not technically be canals, but they are close enough that they might satisfy the criteria for what the OP is looking for.

Also there is Las Colinas, Irving Texas-not exactly like Amsterdam though. lol.

Also Cape Coral near Ft. Myers Florida-it may look like a huge suburb, but it still has nearly 200,000 people and all of it is absolutely laced with canals. Again not exactly an Amsterdam, but probably has way more canals.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 1:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geomorph View Post
Riverwalk, Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
the milwaukee river is a river, not a canal.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 2:11 PM
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Jacksonville has two on either side of downtown that have been abandoned and not maintained for at least 50 years. Here's a few pics of Hogans Creek on the north side of downtown. It was channelized in 1929 to prevent tidal flooding.







Kind of crazy to see cities building canals from scratch and we have two that have been ignored since their completion in 1929 and 1930.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 4:25 PM
geomorph geomorph is offline
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Steely Dan,
Yes it looks like it is a river in Milwaukee now that I see the map, one that is largely channelized in that stretch that I visited. It looks like there are a few short canals or channels just south of where the river turns East toward the lake?
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2016, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geomorph View Post
Yes it looks like it is a river in Milwaukee now that I see the map, one that is largely channelized in that stretch that I visited. It looks like there are a few short canals or channels just south of where the river turns East toward the lake?
milwaukee is home to 3 rivers (milwaukee river, menomonee river, and kinnickinnic river) that flow together to form the estuary that serves as milwaukee's harbor. the menomonee river stretches west from downtown milwaukee as it flows through the menomonee valley. the menomonee valley was formely a very swampy tangle of braided streams, ponds, and marshes. in the late 19th century much of it was channelized and drained to open up land for industrial purposes. so those dead end channels that you see southwest of downtown milwaukee that look like canals are actually just channelized remnants of the old menomonee valley waterways.

most of the natural rivers in milwaukee have been heavily dredged, widened, straightened, and channelized back when they were serious "working" rivers, so it can be easy to confuse them for canals today, but they're all based on original natural rivers. rivers like these that have been highly manipulated to serve the needs of man definitely can blur the distinction between a man-made canal and a natural river.
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