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CHAPTER 2 Background: The Importance of Goods Movement in the Urban Environment The relationship between urban development and freight transportation is a chicken-and-egg question. Do commerce and transportation lead to urban development or do concentrated pop- ulations beget commerce and transportation? In fact, the answer to these questions has changed over the history of America's urban evolution. A Brief History of Urban Development and Freight in America The first American urban settlements were based on the available means to transport mer- chandise and foster trade (i.e., coastal ports and river towns). Early settlements (and later the first true U.S. cities) followed the trade routes enabled by water transport gateways and later by railroad expansion. In early America, city centers were the fashionable location to live, offering easy access to tradesmen, shops, warehouses, and ship docks. In colonial America's large cities (e.g., Boston, Philadelphia, and New York), the urban core also offered amenities such as enter- tainment, water pumps, refuse collection, and postal services. Because early freight and service delivery modes were pedestrian or horse-powered, prominent citizens tended to live near ser- vices in the city center. In the span of In the late 1800s, the Industrial Revolution changed the face of American cities. Industry developed alongside transportation gateways, fostering trade routes for agriculture and natural 50 years (1870 to resources. New industries lured people to cities with the promise of jobs. As the industry of city 1920), the number centers became noisier and more polluted, technology advancements in passenger travel allowed of Americans in citizens to move out of the urban core and still access jobs. Trains, trolleys, street cars, and later cars, allowed urban areas to expand beyond walking distance to employment centers--resulting cities grew from in the rise of suburbs. 10 million to Following World War II (WWII), the GI bill made suburban housing affordable, allowing 54 million. By suburban populations to explode. The Interstate Highway System (IHS) gave workers an easy 1920, more commute between downtown and the burgeoning suburbs. Employers now followed their employees, because the suburbs offered cheap land, lower taxes, and less crime. Suburban truck Americans lived in trips also grew as factory supplies from distant suppliers flowed through traditional urban gate- cities than in rural ways via rail hubs or ports then traveled the "last mile" to factories by truck. As a result, urban areas. traffic and traffic congestion exploded as well, signaling the beginning of a growing problem that continues to plague many American cities today--congestion. In WWII, logistics (having the right materials in the right place at the right time) played a key role in the Allied victory. After the war, logistics management entered the mainstream of Amer- ican business practice. Early logistics management focused on delivering finished products to 6