Bicycling, Beijing - Shanghai, part 2

by Sep 07, 2011
by Amirah Shahid Sep 07, 2011



I landed in Beijing a week ago to embark on a cycling journey to Shanghai. Many weeks of planning and preparation is starting to come to life this past week. Over the past 5 day, I have made it from Beijing to the capital of Shandong Province-Jinan.

The roadways and traffic are not nearly as scary as I thought they were going to be. Major cities have bike lanes separated from the main traffic by a planted barrier or fencing. Crossing intersections can be a bit daunting at first, but luckily there are enough other bikers on the street that I can just pick one person that seems to know what they’re doing and follow them. Outside of urban areas, the national roads have wide shoulders and are not nearly as busy as the major freeways that I am carefully avoiding. They have been lined with formal rows of street trees that provide nice shade and occasionally open up into views of wide-open crop fields.

The language difference, with me not knowing a bit of Chinese, was another concern. Travelling has been very manageable despite this. I have many translated cards of key phrases about booking hotel rooms, ordering food in restaurants, buying water, etc… People also seem to appreciate the project description that I’ve had translated to explain who I am and what I’m doing. I’ve also been able to find Chinese youth that have learned a little bit of English in school to help me out along the way. Everyone has been more than hospitable and welcoming toward me. I also have a cell phone and plenty of people in China that I can call in case I get into a situation where I need help translating. This offers great peace of mind and lets me relax and not worry too much when interacting with others.

I’m beginning to get more of an understanding of just how quickly China is growing by the number and frequency of new development projects along the way. There are signs everywhere, even in seemingly remote areas, of new master planned communities coming in the future. This, combined with the large number of bikes I’m seeing on the road, makes the questions I’m asking about how bikes can be incorporated in future landscape architecture/planning developments even more relevant to me. There are bikes everywhere and seem to be here to stay. I’m looking forward to the next couple weeks and further exploring the way bikes fit into the current and developing landscape.

Cyclists, pedestrians, buses and cars all move simultaneously, without division, through a busy Beijing intersection

Designated bike parking along the streets of Beijing

A local Beijing bike store sells new bikes and parts in a city dominated by old unmaintained looking bikes. 60% of the new bikes sold are to locals - 40% to foreigners.

Cars, bikes, and pedestrians share highway lanes in Tianjin

My bags unpacked. 3 changes of clothing for a 3 week bike tour packed into 3 bags. It’s humid and hot. I’m regretting the decision to bring a winter hat and extra wool layers just in case I need them - it seems unlikely.

An unmaintained road, following the river, is the quietest and safest way to leave Beijing. Farmers tend agriculture growing along the river banks and only 10 cars are seen for 10 km.

Bike Parking on Beijing’s Peking University’s campus. Cycling is the primary mode of transportation for students living on campus at this large university.

Darkness doesn't stop people from commuting via bike in Cangzhou

Lots of people in uniform commuting to and from the local hospital near Jinan

Typical tree lined national road between Dezhou and Jinan

Daming Lake Park is a popular place for men to gather, play games, and enjoy each others' company

Caged birds providing a tweeting ambiance are common in China's urban open spaces.



Amirah Shahid

Amirah Shahid, YouthLA Volunteer, landscape designer.

2 discussions
  1. zhou says:

    It’s a great learning by doing story. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish I’ve a chance to do the same thing in my Country. It’s also very impressive to see those common scenes from a Landscape Architect’s eye.

  2. Will says:

    Be along with you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amirah Shahid

Amirah Shahid, YouthLA Volunteer, landscape designer.

Julius Fabos 步行街 设计未来城市 盆景园 铁路 宾夕法尼亚大学 博士 台湾 罗马奖 雨洪管理 禅修 buffalo 鹈鹕湾 Vista Hermosa 环境效应 新加坡 WEST8 灾后 古根海姆博物馆 挪威 泰山 可持续 青海 王劲韬 Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates 保护 香格里拉植物园 雨水 SWA 钢笔画 校园 夏成钢 地域性景观 多伦多 Peter Walker 空间 巴塞罗那 设计研究 区域园林 清华同衡学术周 Hans Joachim Mader 年报 Diana Balmori 宋晔皓 工程 纽约 洪盈玉 德国市民花园 墨西哥 Prof. Gesche Joost 创业 政治 成范永 朱育帆 考研 张乔松 永昌河 批评 北角公园 现代主义 公共交通 迪拜 Gleisdreieck 加拿大 可持续城市 世博 自然文化资源 牛雄 反思 喷泉 万科 LEPC AGER 新年 安藤忠雄 盐湖城 Vertical Greening Systems 俞昌斌 数字景观 实验 希望小学 佛罗里达 教育 西方建筑 自杀 水文 毕业设计 技术 庭院 王欣 北欧 首尔 IGA 流浪汉 绿色设计 摄影 深圳前海 绿色基础设施 自然观 Brownfield 种植 就业 瑠公圳 场所 北林 种植装置 跨学科教育 湿地 学习方法 韩炳越 海平面上升 日本 孟兆祯 华南 韩国 书评 游乐场 朱胜萱 伊利诺伊大学 UIUC Ruggeri 会议 棕地 公园 张唐景观 Juergen Weidinger 枡野俊明 托马斯·丘奇 毛细水 风景园林学会2011年会 logo 城市雨水 保研 水盒子 碛口古镇 哈佛 何巧女 绿道 职业实践 Malden RTD 水景 机场 哈普林 halprin 苏州古典园林 人文 迪士尼音乐厅 西班牙 预制混凝土 Media Ship 陈俊愉 Stoss Landscape Urbanism 植物 TOPOS 普渡大学 如园 Kingston University 清华 9.11 LAM Jack Ahern 洛阳 绿色屋顶 调查问卷 地砖 居住区 南湖中央公园 Prof. Jürgen Weidinger TAMU 西安世园会 2012IFLA亚太区会议 垃圾 翻译 矶琦新 太阳能 卡尔维诺 2013北京园博会 设景 护栏 欧洲 讲座 历史理论 BIM 文化景观 留学 非言述性和默会性知识 ASLA 铺地 公益 环境 原子城 ARC 方塔园 Dr. Rosan Chow 风景区 雕塑 客座教授 低收入住宅 SANAA 骑行 可持续化 纪念性景观 玛莎·施瓦茨 日本设计 Prof. Nigel Cross 竞赛 马克 国家公园 展览 经典 风景园林 滨水 沙龙 鹿特丹 行业 刘秀晨 冯纪忠 雪铁龙公园 贝聿铭 植物园 布鲁克林 裁员 Prof. Loidl-Reisch 上海 城市 商业建筑 城市景观 沥青 香港 树屋 幻觉 禅意 布法罗河湾散步道 城市建设 马萨诸塞大学 UMass 住宅花园 珊瑚礁 数字图解 城乡 Greenway 苗木 北川 加州花园 土人景观 布鲁克林大桥 弗吉尼亚大学 UVa 老人 龙安寺 风景园林学 设计展 铺装 广场 建筑 设计竞赛 什刹海 三倾园 广州市绿化公司 联谊 德国 檀馨 Xeritown 教学 银泉市 Silver Spring 狼牙山 野生动物廊道 绿墙 辰山植物园 捷得国际 经验 多样性 岭南园林 维吉尼亚理工大学 Waterboxx 国际风景园林师高峰论坛 儿童 IFLA LIM 散步道 意识形态 钓鱼岛 新青年读老经典 几何 理论 鸟类 英国 Ron Henderson 合作 NITA 纵向耕作 空气污染 Prof. Wolfgang Jonas 维格兰 新西兰 华盛顿 沃夫岗·哈勃 风景园林月 世界风景园林师高峰论坛 参数化设计 旅游 数字化 论坛 生态 LABash 景观都市主义 风景园林新青年,就在你身边 安友丰 GSD 风景园林学会2015年会 河流 Mader ASLA学生奖 休斯顿探索公园 手绘 教学元素 康奈尔大学 中央公园 地震 MLA Gesche Joost 视频 长椅 雕塑公园 园博会 花园 志愿者 人居环境 图解 托滕堡公园 枯山水 美国 2012IFLA 马晓暐 低能耗 视觉文化 城市空间 法国 公共花园 纪念碑 交通节点 开放空间 购物中心 北京 迪士尼 Disney 便携 证书 天津大学 京津冀 年会 James Corner 概念方案 风景园林学会2013年会 碳补偿林 美术馆 五角大楼 历史