Summer Commute, 2014

Last summer’s commute was done mostly by Metrolink commuter rail to Los Angeles Union Station. This summer, my primary commute was by folding bike to Tsinghua University’s School of Architecture:

Beijing Night Ride

Video of a night bike ride with a few friends.

Beijing is a beautiful city at night. Instead of casting a brown tinge on everything like it does during the day, the air pollution diffuses the bright city lights below. Traffic is slightly less overwhelming, and the range of spaces for bikes, from narrow hutongs to bike lanes on the widest highways, is fun to explore.

Route of a 30 mile ride through Beijing

Route of a 30 mile ride through Beijing (click for interactive map)

Bike Ride across Beijing

Folding bike at the Olympic Park

Folding bike at the Olympic Park

I spent last Saturday riding 32 miles across Beijing. A video of some of the highlights is below. Or, to see selected excerpts, click on the yellow icons on the map below.

Yuanmingyuan

Pictures from a Sunday afternoon stroll in Yuanmingyuan, a complex of imperial gardens northwest of Beijing:

Arriving in Beijing

Two weeks ago, I landed in China to start work on a clean energy and urban design research studio. This project involves a new tool to model neighborhood units’ energy performance — operational, embodied, and transportation energy use, as well as the potential for on-site clean energy production — in the context of rapidly urbanizing Chinese cities. Flying the approach into Beijing Capital International Airport gave me the first taste of the scale of the problem we’re considering…