19
Jul

2019

Weekly Roundup: Tourism Triumphs

Post by Gondola Project

A flyover of The Great Inca Trail- the ancient Inca highway network in Peru. A ropeway was installed to bring tourism to other historical locations on the trail besides Machu Picchu.


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12
Jul

2019

Weekly Roundup: South East Asia Dreams of Cable Cars

Post by Gondola Project

The location of the province of East Java in Indonesia is circled in red. Their governor is advocating for a cable car system. Map data copyright 2019, Google and GBRMPA



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11
Jul

2019

What The Burnaby Mountain Gondola Teaches Us About Loss

Post by Steven Dale

The working theory amongst city builders whenever a group of NIMBYs (NOMBYs?) pipe up about any given development in an urban environment is that people simply don’t like change

That’s nonsense. People love change. 

If you get a sought-after job, a new girlfriend/boyfriend, a first car or win a million dollars your life is going to change dramaticallybut you’d be hard-pressed to find someone complaining about that. 

What people don’t like isn’t change it’s loss. While the concept of loss aversion, first developed by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, is typically applied to areas of economics, finance and marketing, I think it applies equally to issues of NIMBYism and urban development. 

The basic concept is this: People prefer avoiding losses than realizing equivalent gains.  It’s so evolutionarily embedded in human behavior that studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful in a person’s mind than gains. 

I was reminded of this situation when reading about local opposition to the Burnaby Mountain gondola a couple of weeks back. 

On behalf of 30 residents of the Forest Grove community (where the gondola would likely pass over), Glen Porter wrote into Burnaby Now and summarized the community’s opposition to the project. Try reading it through the frame of loss aversion:

“While the residents of Forest Grove feel privileged to live in close proximity to the streams, woods, flora and fauna in Forest Grove and the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area and we try to be good environmental stewards, we recognize that these areas are “the backyards” of all residents of Burnaby, not ours alone . . . we are protective of our own sense of peaceful enjoyment of our homes (and the privacy of our children who attend daycare and an elementary school under a proposed gondola route) but we are also protective of the many species of wildlife whose habitat, in Forest Grove and in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, would be disturbed by a constant stream of gondola cabins passing overhead.”

This is all about loss, nothing more. Almost all NIMBY arguments can be reframed that way . . .

Increased traffic to an area means loss of time and parking. A tall building overlooking a backyard means loss of privacy and sunlight. A building out of character with an existing neighbourhood means loss of character. 

It’s all about loss. And if there isn’t sufficient enough gain for the locals to realize, then all hell breaks loose. You want a perfect example of this — read up on the war that broke out between neighbours in the Cabbagetown area of Toronto over a daycare.

It was clear there that the daycare would (marginally) increase traffic and noise in the neighbourhood. People with kids and few daycare options loved it. Residents with no kids didn’t want to have to deal with less parking and less peace-and-quiet.

I have no idea if the Burnaby Mountain gondola will ever be realized or not. Forest Grove residents have next to nothing to gain from this project and a huge amount to lose. That’s a recipe for entrenched opposition.

System planners and designers would be wise to go back to the drawing board and see if they can find a way to redesign this system such that it minimizes the losses to residents while maximizing the gains.

If not, I can assure you, a protracted battle awaits.



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05
Jul

2019

Weekly Roundup: New Systems Advance in Asia

Post by Steven Dale

  • Penang Hill Corporation of Malaysia announces its intention to study an approximately 7-km long, tourist-oriented cable car system on the island of Penang.
  • An Israeli NGO that works to “defend cultural heritage rights and to protect ancient sites” has petitioned for a delay of the National Infrastructure Committee’s recent approval of a cable car to Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza. The gist of the petition is that the current government is an interim one and that a decision as significant as this should be made by a properly elected government, not an interim one.
  • The hilltop tourist district of Patnitop in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India prepares for the commencement of commercial operations of that country’s newest cable car. Business Standard reports that the 2.8-km system has been in the works for over 15 years and was built by a “French company on a Public-Private Partnership model at a cost of (approx. $22mm USD).” Presumably, the system was provided by Poma.



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28
Jun

2019

Weekly Roundup: Controversial Proposals and a Mexican Design Competition

Post by Gondola Project

Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro is a proposed site for a ropeway transportation system.
  • Leitner Ropeways and Doppelmayr are part of two different teams vying to design and build Mexico City’s new cable car system. The long-term vision for the Cablebúscable car system includes four lines to transport 117 million people a year. The current proposals are for the first line, which will cost about $150m and take about a year-and-a-half to build. The Gondola Project wrote about this system in February of this year- check out that post here.
  • The controversial Mount Kilimanjaro Cable Car in Tanzania continues to be in the news.  Get insights from Gondolas Project’s Steven Dale about putting a ropeway transportation system on Africa’s tallest mountain here.


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21
Jun

2019

Weekly Roundup: Solar-powered Success in Bogotá

Post by Gondola Project

The solar-powered gondola in operation in Bogota, Colombia.
Photo courtesy of Doppelmayr


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14
Jun

2019

Weekly Roundup: A Tasmanian Cable Car and an Oregonian Inclined Elevator

Post by Gondola Project

The proposed cable car development in Tasmania, Australia put together by the Mount Wellington Cable Car Company
  • A rare inclined elevator proposal has received favorable review from a group of Portland, Oregon area leaders. It would connect downtown Portland to a hilltop medical campus. Transit options in this United States city already include an aerial tram.


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