Liman Zhao


Co-founder of Smarter Than Car (STC)

Liman is a native of Beijing, growing up in the ‘golden bicycle age’ during the 1970′s and 80′s. She has fond memories of cycling in a city packed full of bikes and urban cycling culture. From the age of 7 she traversed the city independently on two wheels and quickly became addicted to the speed, convenience and freedom to explore that her bicycle offered.

After graduating from University she went abroad for 10 years living and working in five different cities and experiencing auto dependent transportation first hand. When she returned to Beijing she was shocked to find her bicycle city had quickly deteriorated into one of the biggest auto cities in the world.

She realised that the bicycle lifestyles she experienced as a child were not only relevant for as models for other sustainable transport cities but also worthwhile to preserve. In 2010 she co-founded STC (Smarter Than Car) – an organisation set up to actively promote cycling culture and advocate for bicycle transportation.

In 2012, she started a space called Serk. The space is a combination of café/bar and bike shop. This space is the first of its kind in China. She uses this space as a launch pad to promote bicycle culture and organize cycling events.

Plenary Speaker Velo-city 2013