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Utility Cycling in China 23

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country (May 2010) In big Chinese cities – like it or not – bicycles are a vital ingredient to keep the cities moving. From pizza delivery, to painters, to garbage pickup, to cargo shipping, to transporting people – bicycles are everywhere in cities like Shanghai and ...

Handicap Bike Parking 14

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country In Shanghai, there are a lot of bikes.. a LOT of bikes. With the high costs of car ownership, heavy pollution and traffic congestion, bikes are still a great alternative and you can quickly get around the city. However, bikes are still generally considered to be ...

The Urban Country Goes to China 2

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country (Great Wall of China – 2007) The Urban Country is headed to China for the next three weeks to celebrate our marriage and whatnot. We are on a 13-hour direct flight from Toronto to Shanghai tomorrow and after 4 days in Shanghai we will head south ...

Suburban Bike Infrastructure 1

Photo by Mark Green / The Urban Country  The photo above highlights some new cycling infrastructure that was recently installed in a suburb of Shanghai, China. Our China correspondent Mark Green spotted this segregated bike lane in the Boa Shan District (宝山区) – about 13KM north of Shanghai’s People’s Square (City Centre). It seems that ...

Giving New Meaning to “Cargo Bike” 8

Photo by Mark Green / The Urban Country In China it’s not uncommon for bicycles to carry an inordinate amount of cargo. When I visited Beijing in 2007 I saw bicycles carrying loads of vegetables that would make a dump truck driver envious. This picture was snapped the other day by The Urban Country’s China ...

Bike Sharing in Car Capital of the World?

Photo by Mark Green / The Urban Country (Jan 2010) Can bike sharing possibly succeed in the world’s largest automobile market? It doesn’t sound logical, but it’s a reality on a planet that simply doesn’t have enough space for all of its inhabitants to drive a car. Bicycles are a practical and low-cost solution to ...

Best Olympics ever? 2

The Beijing Olympics have now concluded, and in many ways, I think this has been the best Olympics games ever. China is a great nation that has been very welcoming to visitors for a long time, but the Olympics have opened the eyes of the world to China and it has proven to show the ...

Positive steps by big polluters 1

Some of you have noticed over the last year or two that the articles on the Urban Country have been perpetually negative. The reason is obvious: I’ve been gradually losing hope for the human inhabitants of this world and the damage we are blindly causing. But that’s not to say there aren’t positive things happening ...

China Trip 2007 4

Last weekend we returned after 22 days in China for me and 53 days for Han. I know some of you have been anxious to see some pictures, so I must apologize for the delay. It’s been quite the shift from vacation mode straight back into work mode; and work has been busy; hence the ...

5th gear at 20K

The next topic that has irked me since arriving in China is the way people drive with manual transmission. I don’t know why this is but 98% of drivers that I’ve come across seem to shift gears around 1000RPM. It’s not uncommon for a taxi driver to be driving 40KM/hour in 5th gear. I’ve even ...