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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 42

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 ...

Brussels: Narrow Lanes & Neon Vests 27

Grand Place – Brussels, Belgium – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country The distinct two-tone siren from a Belgium ambulance echoes fourteen floors below the perch where we have set up camp on day one of our two-week trip to Europe. It is 6:30AM and we have just arrived after a 19-hour journey ...

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 ...

Is Bicycling Gaining Momentum in India? 6

Bangalore traffic congestion – Photo by Kiran Jonnalagadda Although bicycles have historically been viewed as the poor man’s mode of transportation in India, there are signs that the working class are starting to view bicycles as an accepted mode of transportation. A recent article in the Indian news publication DNA highlights the rising interest in ...