Sustainable Transport in Guangzhou, China

National Geographic Screenshot

Guangzhou, China, was recently awarded the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s 2011 Sustainable Transport Award. According to the ITDP website, “the Award is given each year to a city that has made significant inroads in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a more sustainable, livable urban environment by embracing innovative transportation strategies.”

Components of the city’s sustainable transportation system include a city rail network, a bus rapid-transit system, a bike-sharing program, and a network of bicycle paths lined with trees. The bus system is one of the largest in the world, carrying upwards of 800,000 passengers a day. The huge bus system interfaces seamlessly with the city’s rail system, bike paths, and bike-sharing stations.

More at National Geographic
ITDP Sustainable Transport Award

3 Responses to “Sustainable Transport in Guangzhou, China”

  • Surly Dave says:

    Guangzhou also has a massive new freeway system and its roads are choked with cars. But hey, points for trying.

  • Bucky says:

    Guangzhou has a populations of over 10 million and is China’s third most important metropolitan area, but often overshadowed by Shanghai & Beijing. It is located about 75 miles north west of Hong Kong, so the climate is sub-tropical (think north Florida or the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico). It is the heart of the Pearl River Delta and by definition is flat, flat, flat.

    It’s been home for me for the past year and site of my daily bicycle commute for the past six months.

    Bike riding continues to be a way of life for many and with numbers comes a higher awareness (if not respect) from drivers. Motorcycles were banned in the city several years ago which improved air & noise pollution, as well as reducing crime. That move created a gap in the personal transportation market between bikes and cars; that gap has been partially filled by electric bikes.

    It’s easy to spot the foreigner bike riders here in Guangzhou – they are the ones with helmets and seats at almost the correct height.

    Guangzhou recently hosted the Asian Games & Para-Asian Games which – after the Summer Olympics – are the largest sports events in the world. That provided a wonderful rationale to dramatically invest in infrastructure improvements – the equivilent of about US $15 billion.

    Here are some interesting factoids & links
    Guangzhou METRO: In less than 20 years, the subway system has grown to the 9th largest in the world by miles of track with an average of 4.3 million riders a day

    Guangzhou embraces the provincial “greenway initiative” to interject green space into urban environments
    1,060KM Greenway Completed in Guangzhou
    Guangzhou to build 500 more kilometers of greenways

    Li Zhiwan Brook – polluted & covered for decades – is redeveloped into a 650 meter pedestrian concourse

    Guangzhou Bike Share initiative – 50 stations & 4,800 bikes

  • Alan says:


    Thanks so much for the wonderful insight into what sounds like a fascinating place. When you have a minute, can you tell us a little about your personal bike commuting experience in Guangzhou?

    Many thanks-

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