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Back on your bike in Beijing

October 24, 2018

Coping with traffic emissions in a city of 21 million is no easy task. Swapping four wheels for two is a good start, as the smoggy Chinese capital is learning for itself.

A pile of bikes in Beijing
Image: M. Bölinger

Bicycle comeback in Beijing?

Project aim: To provide policymakers in relevant government offices with strategies to make China's transportation sector climate-friendly
Implementing organization: German development agency GIZ
Project funding: €3,500,000 ($4,037,080) from Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Project duration: March 2015 - January 2019

Until the 1990s, cycling was the most important form of transport in Beijing, but increasing affluence and transportation policies geared toward cars went a long way to pushing the humble bicycle off the city's roads. 

In 2016, the first "free-floating" rental bikes appeared on the scene and since then, this more traditional and environmentally friendly mode of transport has made a comeback. Now efforts are underway to keep the two wheels turning.

A film by Mathias Bölinger