By Dante Archangeli Peng Chau is a hair under one square kilometer in area, but over 6,000 people live and work there. It's served by several dozen ferries a days, as well as a number of shops, restaurants, bakeries, temples, and shrines. But what feels most prevalent is bikes. And the air seems cleaner than in other parts of Hong Kong. Maybe car-dependent localities the world over can learn quality-of-life lessons from Peng Chau and other communities where bicycles are an important transportation component.
By Dante Archangeli ". . . we never became a bicycle-riding community of the sort found in . . . less prosperous Asian cities." Denis Bray, first Hong Kong Commissioner of Transport writing in Hong Kong Metamorphosis Mr. Bray's connecting bicycle-riding with lack of prosperity may shed light on Hong Kong's current leaders' dismissal of bicycling. Perhaps they consider biking to work or shopping as only what poor people in poor countries do because of necessity. That's unfortunate, because in today's world many affluent urban areas are encouraging bicycle transportation, not shunning it.
By Dante Archangeli We interrupt our normally scheduled posts for a special Holiday Season message . . . Dear Santa Claus, may I tell you the holiday sustainability cheer that I hope you will have Hong Kong's CY Leung "Santa" and America's John Boehner "Claus" deliver?
By Dante Archangeli Now that I don't own a car and frequently ride Hong Kong minibuses, I see more television, or at least commercial video, than I've seen since in years. Bus TV exposes me to Hong Kong phenomena that I'd otherwise be unaware of. For example, Fiona Sit has become my Cantopop muse. Other singers who are more doe-eyed or perky also appear on bus TV, but they don't match Fiona's arresting costumes, makeup, and imagery. This post looks at schemes beyond bus TV that Hong Kong and Singapore have implemented or are considering, such as Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), to incentivize people to reduce the use of personal vehicles on crowed streets and like I do, use public transportation instead.
By Dante Archangeli It's congestion and cold season in Hong Kong. Some roads are closed and others are clogged. You see more face masks and I'm 2 for 2 for a long lasting autumn cough. Both last year and this year doctors told me that cooler weather is probably the cause. I wonder if "cooler weather" is the face saving way to say "worse air pollution". In fall the prevailing winds change from coming from the south over the ocean to coming from the north over China and you can see and smell the worsening air.
By Dante Archangeli Recent photos from the mainland China city of Harbin show visibility reduced to 10 meters because of air pollution. The airport and schools had to be closed. The images make Mordor look good and Hong Kong air seem almost pristine by comparison. The vice director of China's Environmental Protection Agency stated "The heavy pollution of Harbin is due to weather conditions".