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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 ...

The Bicycle as a Status Symbol 33

Man & son ride a bicycle past an Audi car in Shanghai – Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country One of the biggest barriers to increasing bicycle transportation in many western countries is the fact that it is difficult to express one’s wealth and status on a bicycle. People are generally drawn ...

One Wheel All You Need in China 1

Ever had a wheel stolen off your bicycle and had to push your bicycle home with just one wheel? I know I have. It’s not a good feeling – but it would have been no match for this Chinese bicyclist. This video was picked up by our China correspondent Mark Green after it was posted ...

Complete Streets in China 3

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  When it comes to sharing – the Chinese lead the world. Whether in a restaurant, or on the streets, the Chinese share their resources without the sense of entitlement that we feel here in North America. Perhaps our sense of entitlement comes from a sense of ...

Only the poor ride bicycles in Shanghai 12

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country When it comes to using bicycles as transportation, there are few cities I have visited that intrigue me more than Shanghai. Shanghai citizens have a knack for utilizing their bicycles to their full capacity. From carrying fridges, to bathtubs, to beds – to the far ...

China’s Mega 100KM Traffic Jam 17

Beijing traffic jam photo courtesy of Proggie (this is not the 100KM traffic jam) For several decades, the Chinese managed to transport millions and millions of people efficiently around their cities – primarily by bicycle. There are reportedly 450 million bicycles in China, and the bicycle has served as a great tool historically. Now, enter ...

Bicycles for Transporting… [fill in the blank] 6

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Earlier this month I posted 30 photos of Utility Cycling in China. That post generated a lot of interest because like me, you are probably intrigued by how the Chinese use their bicycles for practical purposes – like pizza delivery, garbage pickup, cargo shipping, etc. ...

Shanghai Cycle Chic 10

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country During my recent trip to China I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in Shanghai. Before I went to China, I promised Mikael Colville-Andersen that I would snap some photos of “Cycle Chic” action while biking around Shanghai. Mikael popularized the term “Cycle ...

Life at 430km/h 7

Photos and video by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Imagine you could build a train that could take you 100KM in less than 15 minutes. Where would you put this train? From your home to you workplace? To your Grandma’s house? I had the pleasure of riding the Shanghai Maglev high speed train ...

The Americanization of China? 2

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Today is my last day on Hainan island – China’s southernmost (and smallest) province. Hainan is developing at an extremely fast pace. Hainan was designated as a Special Economic Zone in the 1980’s, and earlier this year China announced its intentions on turning Hainan into ...