Tracking Waters: Small Cities Transport Network of Early Modern Friesland

  • Miki Sugiura
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


How small cities could maintain themselves, or how a region sustains a polycentric structure are questions that are crucially connected with the operation of the urban logistics networks. Focusing on Friesland in the early modern Dutch Republic, this chapter clarifies the misleading views transport network models and mappings often provide. The chapter emphasizes the importance of the natural water environment to be included in the model and demonstrates greater agency for small cities to form their transport networks separately. Operations of transport networks are demonstrated from the users’ perspectives by tracking five generations of one family’s utilization of the city canal.



This chapter owes much to the project ‘Urban & Territorial History: Friesland (2009–2019) of Ito-lab, Spatial History: Architecture-City-Territory, led by Professor Takeshi Ito at the Faculty of Engineering, the University of Tokyo (currently Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo). I express my sincerest gratitude to Professor Ito and all the members of his team. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Genki Takahashi and Dr. Satoshi Miyawaki for their insights and support in collaborating in research together and in making figures and maps.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miki Sugiura
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsHosei UniversityTokyoJapan

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