|The rivers and canals crisscrossing the water metropolis of Osaka were
at one time considered important transportation arteries within the city
and helped to foster the growth of local industries.
However, the development of land-based transportation in the postwar years
was accompanied by a marked decline in waterway traffic. Additionally,
sewage and sedimentation released by factories and the like resulted in
the deterioration of water quality in the city's river systems. Against
this backdrop, Typhoon Jane caused significant damage to the area in 1950
and prompted the implementation of various measures to protect against
similar storm surges, which resulted in the reclamation of numerous rivers
that were replaced by community roads and tree-lined walkways.
Despite the changes that have occurred, Osaka remains a city in which
approximately ten percent of its surface consists of water. Its river
systems contribute to the local heritage as precious open spaces and to
that end, development activities are shaped not simply by the need to
ensure proper flood control measures but also by environmental considerations.