Rivers running through : an urban environmental history of the Kansas Cities and the Missouri River
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] An environmental history of Kansas City and an urban history of the Missouri River, this dissertation shows how interconnected the city and the river were through the twentieth century. Examining how the river literally flowed through the infrastructure (pipes and sewers) and the citizenry (drinking water and excrement) of the Kansas Cities illuminates the interrelationships and trans-boundary connectedness of the city's social and environmental history. Exploring the intimate uses of the river also shows how public health brought residents upstream and downstream from Kansas City into relationship with each other as each part broadens to a wider set of connections, to encompass the lower Missouri River basin. Throughout the century, public health officials, sanitary engineers and citizens worked to control water quality. Despite calls in 1910 to manage the river with public health in mind, it was not until the 1960s that the river came under sanitary regulation. The question of whether the river should create economic wealth or protect human and environmental health has constituted an important debate-one that continues to be relevant to decision making today.
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