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Urban Car-Free Camping 17

Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Growing up in Canada, camping in the outdoors has always been a significant part of my life. Camping can bring us closer to nature and allow us to appreciate the simple conveniences of modern life. Before now, I had always relied on a car to go camping. ...

Children & Bicycles in China 10

Bicycling in China – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country In a country with 1.4 billion people all coveting for a shiny new automobile, it is refreshing to see children enjoying the simple pleasure of a bicycle. While living in China, I had the unique opportunity to spend time bicycling with some children ...

Traffic Congestion & Optimal Efficiency 17

Beijing traffic – photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Beijing’s traffic congestion nightmare is perhaps best attributed to the much hailed Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s “socialist market economy” – which opened China up to foreign investment and brought significant wealth to the people of China over the past 30 years. Xiaoping ...

The Unconventional Urban Citizen Bicyclist 15

Dirk Eys – a resident of Amsterdam and converted bike commuter – Photo by Dirk Eys for The Urban Country There is something about bicycling in Amsterdam. Visitors who would never consider bicycling around their home cities often feel compelled to explore Amsterdam by bike simply because they see other people just like themselves pedalling ...

Motorist Convenience Trumps Safety 43

“Driving the Volvo” – Photo by Thomas Anderson Toronto’s chief medical officer made headlines in the Toronto media for recommending that the city reduce its speed limits to 30km/h on residential streets, and 40km/h on other city streets to “support the increased use and safety of walking and cycling”. The Doctor’s recommendations were mocked by ...

The Car Once Symbolized Freedom… 49

One of the rare occasions in which the author of this blog sits in a traffic jam (Dec 2011) – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Motor cars were once a symbol of freedom – a way to achieve personal independence. They took us places where we couldn’t otherwise travel – they brought ...

Human Power Around The World 11

A Venetian gondola being paddled through the waterways of Venice – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country All around the world, humans rely on machines that require non-renewable resources to power them. In this article, we look at parts of the world where human power reigns. In three weeks I will be returning ...

10 Observations About Bicycling in Amsterdam 41

Bicycles in Amsterdam – photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country While visiting Amsterdam on my recent trip to Europe, I made some observations about cycling around the Dutch capital. Here are my top ten observations: 10. The locals have little patience for tourists walking on the cycle path Bicycles in Amsterdam – photo ...

When School’s Out in Amsterdam 36

Amsterdam school pick-ups – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country While strolling around Amsterdam on Friday afternoon shortly after arriving in the Dutch capital, I happened upon a school just as the kids were being let out for the weekend. The scene was nothing short of fascinating for a Canadian who is accustomed ...

Rural Bike Infrastructure in the Netherlands 23

Bicycle traffic signal in Amsterdam – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country It is 1:00PM and the train is stopped at a station in a northern Belgian town. The train will be leaving one minute later than its scheduled departure time so that the passengers can have a minute of silence to pay ...