Master's Theses

Creating a new identity for aerial cableways in urban areas

„How about ART“ poses the question of the use of aerial cableways in urban areas. The abbreviation ART stands for aerial ropeway transit, which defines a transport system that carries passengers by air via a suspended cable and guided cabin.

In the European area, ropeway systems are mainly associated with their traditional paradigm of winter and summer tourism. However, successful mobility projects in South America show that cableway systems as a part of a public transportation network have potential for use in urban areas, especially in times of steady urbanization and growing demand for new, innovative mobility options. Cableway systems, however, have very specific characteristics, which determine their area of application to the usual public transport. Therefore aerial cableway systems should not be considered as an all-round solution, but as a possible traffic option, which can serve as a viable complement to the existing transport network.

In Europe a lack of experience and adversary mindsets of decision makers as well as citizens have slowed down a change of minds with regard to the aerial ropeway transit. However, multiple discussions concerning possible cable railway routes in Germany show the rising interest in the new traffic solution. Experts predict, that the ropeway will assert itself gradually as a public transport system. An all-embracing conviction of the participants is necessary for the establishment of ropeway as new public transport system. For doing so, the creation of a new identity, which is distinguished from the well-known alpine ropeway systems, plays a crucial role as part of the process.

The station building at the main station in Vaihingen, Stuttgart where a possible cableway is currently being tested is designed to exemplify this new identity. The aim of this work is to approach possible project participants to the topic of the urban aerial cableway and to reduce prejudices, the knowledge and understanding of the advantages, disadvantages and the appropriate possibilities of use of a ropeway are presented. The analysis of the system in Mayrhofen as an alpine example, the tourist facility in the urban context of Koblenz and the public transport system integrated ropeway in London show how much the design approaches can vary depending on the function and the area where they are used. The specifications for a ropeway as an urban transport system serve as a guide for the station building intended as part of a mobility node in Vaihingen. These unique features of ART Transport as well as the usability of the potential passenger are the key design elements for this new building. The model design of the cableway station should therefore serve to convince the public of the use of ART, fueling the imagination of the participants and thus create an open-minded environment for the pilot project in Vaihingen. Of course each place offers a different context and the creation of a new identity for aerial cableways in the urban space has to be carried out individually and adapted to the users.

Lena Hainzinger, Alumna summer semester 2017