In China’s Cities, A Return to Cycling Prioritizes People and the Climate

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What does the future of ‘cycling cities’ look like for China, what unique challenges do they face, and how are cities already taking action? Throughout much of the decade of the 1980s, it would not be uncommon to see thousands of cyclists, rather than cars, crowd the streets of major Chinese cities during the rush hour commute. In many ways, the nation’s relationship with cycling as a form of urban mobility has evolved and changed in line with the cultural and political transformations of the 20th century, but had, by the 1980s and 90s, become an essential, daily instrument for most Chinese households. In fact, cycling was so dominant for transport and leisure in those decades, the country was often recognized as the ‘Kingdom of Bicycles’ by many foreigners.

 

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