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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 ...

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 ...

Awkward Moments In China’s Car Culture Frenzy 36

Cyclist in Shanghai – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country (2010) As a Canadian ex-pat currently residing in China, there are moments where my culture and values clash with Chinese culture. A recent situation at a dinner with my wife’s family and friends surfaced the importance placed on car ownership in Chinese culture. ...

Sunday Afternoon Ride in China 8

Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country It was hot and sunny – peaking at 27 degrees Celsius on Sunday afternoon here in the middle of the South China Sea – so we decided to take 7-month-old Sofia out for a bicycle ride. It was her first bike ride, and she clearly loved every ...

Want to Get Rich? Open a Gas Station in China 37

Cars lined up at a Haikou, China gas station – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country (Jan 2012) Want to get rich? Open up a gas station, a car wash, or an auto repair garage in China. Car culture is sweeping through China as car ownership becomes affordable to countless new Chinese families. ...

Sunday Afternoon Traffic in China 20

Pedaling in Haikou, Hainan, China – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Last Sunday afternoon I hopped on my Giant folding bicycle and headed from where I am living in the “suburbs” and headed into downtown (a 5 kilometre jaunt). What ensued was a thrilling ride among a myriad of other two-wheeled travelers ...

Democracy Is Good, But… 43

Traffic signs in China – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Winston Churchill once said that it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Like all other good things, democracy certainly has its flaws. In North American democracy, transportation policy often ...

The Chinese Car Obsession 18

Beijing motor traffic and wide segregated bicycle infrastructure – Photo by Saad Akhtar It is now official: The Urban Country is headed to China for four months this winter, beginning in January. We will be primarily staying on the southern island of Hainan in the South China Sea for the four months in Hainan’s capital ...

Alain Delorme’s Totems Series 5

Series Totems 2010 © Alain Delorme In May 2010 I visited Shanghai, spending a great deal of time observing how migrant Chinese workers use bicycles for utilitarian purposes. I was astonished by the capacity of goods that can be transported by bicycle and intrigued by the gap between these workers and the wealth that surrounds ...