Sustainable Transportation in National Parks

This project aims to encourage sustainable transportation in the Lake District National Park through gamification and focuses on the behavioural component of the issue. 

Transportation-related issues in national parks are a widely recognised problem. This is particularly relevant for national parks situated in densely populated areas, like most parks in the UK, including the Lake District. Intensive traffic creates environmental burden for the local population and puts a strain on local infrastructure, which is often unable to accommodate the increased demand for travellers.  

In response to the increasing problem, various projects have been proposed and developed, including changes to the transportation options and services, such as seasonal road closure, public transport scheduling and subsidies to bus services, electric bike schemes and dedicated traffic free walking and cycling routes, flexible permit scheme and travel cards, or number-plate recognition technology. However, fundamentally, these efforts will yield results only if visitors are willing to change their behaviour and switch to more sustainable transportation options, even if it causes them minor inconvenience. In contrast, this project proposes to employ gamification technique to address the behavioural aspect of the problem. 

Gamification will be used in two phases of the project. During the first phase, a gamified simulation application will be developed. It will capture all the transportation alternatives for different routes in the Lake District, highlight trade-offs for different options and measure the value that visitors assign to different attributes of the offered transportations options through their choices. This app will be useful for visitors because it will offer an aggregated source of information about different transportation choices, while allowing to study visitors’ attitudes and preferences. This application will also capture the choices that could have been made, if alternative options were available. The insight gathered from the first phase will lay foundation for the second phase of the project, the second phase will include the development of a system of gamified interventions that will actively influence visitors’ transportation behaviour and encourage the visitors to make more sustainable choices.  

The project is lead by Dr Agnessa Spanellis in collaboration with Dr Ganna Borzenkova and the Lake District.

Painting of the Valley in the Lake district