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.

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