Last June 4 to 11, 2014, Psychology Volunteers on Bikes External Relations Coordinator Monica Manluluyo went to Tongji University in Shanghai, China to attend the 2014 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability. She had the opportunity to stay within the University town for 7 days, and learn about the sustainable features of Tongji.
1. For a sustainable mode of transportation, a lot of people use bicycles and electric-powered motorcycles and bicycles. Bike racks are installed near fruit markets and stores since people just usually lock a chain around the spokes of their bicycles and park it on the designated parking space even without bike racks.
They also use mass transit (buses and trains) to go to places that are too far for bikes. The primary mode of transport in Shanghai are trains, and right outside the Tongji University (Line 10) station, bicycles are uniformly locked and parked in order to give the owners an easy time in getting their bicycles and riding it from the station to their destinations.
2. The University campus has different parks and gardens that are open to everyone. Families frequent these parks and children practice riding their bicycles there. Students also use it to study or hang out. Early morning tai chi lessons are given in the more secluded and peaceful gardens, while at night, women gather in the Plaza for aerobic dancing.
3. The University buildings also use natural lighting and ventilation to achieve a lower carbon footprint and to keep cool air circulating around the different levels. The lobby of each building – especially the high rise ones – are equipped with small windows usually kept open to maintain the steady flow of air.