The role of the cable car in sustainable mobility: management choices and an assessment of environmental sustainability. The Trento-Monte Bondone projec

  • Mariangela Franch
  • Paola Masotti
  • Federica Buffa
  • Francesca Meo
Keywords: cable car; sustainable mobility; participatory development projects, life cycle assessment; environmental sustainability; best practices


Purpose of the paper: The aim is twofold: a) to analyse the contexts best suited to, and to identify the best practices for, designing sustainable cable car mobility; b) to evaluate and compare the environmental impact of the management of cable car systems by defining two possible scenarios.

Methodology: In the first phase, two examples of excellent cable car systems and intermodality in the alpine area (Innsbruck and Alpe di Siusi) were examined in order to identify good practices as applicable to the evaluation of the (T-MB) project. Seven key dimensions were identified to evaluate the origins and implementation of the two completed cableway projects. In the second phase, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was carried out to evaluate the environmental sustainability of the project.

Findings: From a managerial point of view, the T-MB project was initiated by public actors and adopts the instruments of participatory strategic planning widely used by the municipality of Trento over the last twenty years. The evaluation of environmental sustainability highlights the cable car as a valuable alternative transport mode because it reduces CO2 emissions and pollution and it can be constructed with minimal impact on the territory.

Research limits: The T-MB project is still in the evaluation phase. It was not possible to access all the data necessary for either a detailed evaluation of the managerial implications or for the LCA analysis.

Practical implications: Identification of key dimensions and best practices for the implementation of sustainable cable car mobility projects.

Originality of the paper: The use of LCA analysis for the calculation of the environmental impact of cable care structures is innovative and it is one of the first studies in the field.


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