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Workshop by Sino-German Urban Cycling Research Project successfully launched

Environmental problems have aroused widespread concern in recent years to tackle pollution. Cycling, as a low-carbon transport vehicle, gains increasingly support yet continues to face huge challenges. In order to gain a better understanding of  China’s current cycling system, the joint research project Study on the Sino-German Urban Cycling System and the Construction of Bicycle System in Zhangjiakou City was launched, jointly implemented by the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership, the Chinese Transportation and Fuel Strategy Project of Deutsche Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development’s Centre of Sciences and Technology and Industrialization Development (CSTID) and Hebei Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture.

On June 28 2019, the workshop successfully took place in Beijing. The meeting was moderated by Ms. Tian Yongying, Deputy Director of CSTID. Ms. Lou Nailin, former Deputy Chief Engineer of CSTID, and Ms. Guo Xiaojun, President of the School of Architecture and Art of the Hebei University of Architecture attended the meeting and delivered insightful presentations to the audience.

Mrs. Lou Nailin argued that the government should shift from simple road planning to the construction of the comprehensive transportation system. The analysis of the overall situation of the cycling system will have a positive impact on the construction of urban transportation networks. Zhangjiakou area is the host of the Winter Olympics 2022. It currently undertakescredible efforts in constructing “two zones”, the water conservation function zone and the ecological environment support zone. By combining urban cycling systems with urban public transportation, hydrogen energy transportation and other modes of transportation, people can benefit from an urban transportation network and build “Green Zhangjiakou” and “Green Olympics” for the coming Winter Olympic Games 2022.

Mrs. Guo Xiaojun recognized the importance of promoting mutual exchange and cooperation between China and Germany, especially in the field of research and development. Both parties would highly benefit from sharing research achievements and cooperating in bilateral research projects.

At last, Mr. Peter Sailer, Project Director of the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership and Mr. Daniel Vuong, Project Assistant of the Chinese Transport and Fuel Strategy gave a report on the progress of bicycle research in Europe and Germany.

Mr. Peter Sailer pointed out that increasing traffic pollution, climate change, environmental health and time issues are the most referred motivations for cycling. To regulate the behavior of the bicyclists, Germany has published a series of regulations, which include “Allgemeine Verwaltungsvorschrift zur Straßenverkehrsordnung (VwV-StVO)” and “Straßenverkehrsordnung (StVO)”. Also the research institute , Forschungsgesellschaft für Straßen- und Verkehrswesen FGSV, will soon make recommendations to providea basis for cycling planning. Germany also created a new form of financing by promoting cooperation between the public sector, for example, the National Cycling Plan, and the private sector to invest in new cycling infrastructure.

Taking Bremen’s cycling system as an example, Mr. Daniel Vuong suggested several ways to increase the popularity of cycling in Germany. As a survey suggested, 60% of the German population is interested in bicycles and by improving the basic infrastructure, there will be more people choosing cycling as their preferred means of transportation. Measures could comprise, for instance, the creation of more parking space for bicycles nearby public transit stations, integration of bike lanes into existing road networks, traffic islands at crossings and so on. Also by holding related events, such as „Carfree highways“ and investing in educational training for children could improve  public’s interest in cycling.Mr. Zhao Youyang from CSTID, Mrs. Shi Huifang, Director of the school of architecture and art of the Hebei University of Architecture, reported separately on their research results of this project.

Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership

The partnership is working to influence political dialogue to address the challenges created by a fast-paced urbanization process and climate change in both China and Germany. It aims to create platforms for cross-city institutional exchange of experiences, facilitate knowledge exchange and promote capacity building that can drive the development of joint solutions to these challenges. Key targets of the exchange are to reduce CO2 emissions, promote a more balanced urbanization development and improve quality of life in cities in both China and Germany.