urbanism – landscape – ideas – theory – whimsy

Goods by Bicycle in China

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Despite dramatic decreases in the number of cyclists in Chinese cities over the past 15 to 20 years, transport of goods and products, informal collection of recycling, deliveries and use of bicycles for retail and selling is still very common.

I’ve uploaded a photo gallery (Flickr set) of some of this activity easily seen in Shanghai. While Shanghai is in many other ways a very modern and advanced city, the continuing use of bicycles for so many purposes seems directly related to the presence of so many people willing (or forced) to work for extremely low fees, for which the bicycle remains by far the cheapest and indeed the only affordable means of transportation. Especially over short delivery distances, it would seem to many Chinese almost wasteful to use a truck.

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One of the few official agencies still using bicycles is China Post, whose beautiful green delivery bicycles (complete with panniers) can frequently be seen parked in front of buildings.

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7 Comments so far
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Great photos!

I think anything that reduces the dominance of motor vehicles in cities and towns would make them a lot more pleasant places to live.

[...] Here’s another one, Kevin Cyr. The thought of cycling that in even the mildest of winds is quite terrifying. European transport bikes are horrendously expensive and have lots of useless pijo features. How would I go about importing and converting a Chinese transport bike? [...]

[...] from this series, visit Delorme’s website here. In case you’re wondering, here are some non-Photoshopped photos of real bicycle loads in Shanghai (some are pretty crazy as [...]

Check out Morgan Imports. (Google is your friend.)

Cool. Same thing in much of Africa (also on motorcycles) but the three-wheeler model is generally absent. Now we just have to get the Chinese to export more practical old school models to Africa instead of the current 100 pound tanks (good on durability but impossible to pedal up a steep hill).

[...] of Shanghai sourced from Bricoleurbanism. Share this:FacebookTwitter Published: November 2, 2012 Filed Under: Uncategorized Tags: bicycle [...]

[…] Bricoleurbanism […]



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