Ecological and economic life cycle assessment of a prospective urban mobility

  • Project team:

    Dura, Hanna (Dissertation)

  • Start date: 2013
  • End date:

    (resigned from ITAS)

  • Research group: Innovation processes and impacts of technology

Project description

The environmental burden caused by the transport sector is on a high level and still continues to increase. Despite technological improvements, the road transport sector remains one of the largest contributors to air emissions and energy consumption. Particularly densely populated areas largely contribute to the high transport demand and suffer from great environmental repercussions such as air and noise pollution, increasing shortage of space, high congestion and traffic jams. Numerous studies have already proven that technological improvements alone will not be able to solve all the problems stated above. In order to achieve a more sustainable passenger transportation system three areas have to be combined adequately:

  1. technological improvements,
  2. modal shift from predominantly private vehicular transport to collective or non-motorized transport and
  3. avoidance of traffic via virtual communication using information and communication technology (ICT) and decrease of travel distances.

Following the economic and ecological sustainability, a life cycle oriented analysis of the three activity areas and their interdependencies is of great importance. Therefore, the work aims at a prospective quantitative analysis from the life cycle point of view for the three areas stated above. The transportation means at question include private motorized transport, collectivized individual transport as well as public transport, utilizing next generation batteries and supercapacitors with a possible combination of lightweight materials. The economic and ecological consequences stemming from e.g. air pollution, resource consumption, noise emissions or space availability will be thoroughly analyzed and evaluated using the methodologies Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC).

Based on this, the PhD project aims at quantitatively assessing a defined excerpt of future urban mobility in consideration of technology improvement, modal shift and traffic avoidance from a life cycle point of view. In that way the economic and ecological performance of the three activity areas one by one and in combination with regard to more sustainable mobility patterns are evaluated.

Administrative data

Supervisor: N.N.
Advisor: Dr.-Ing. Marcel Weil
Doctoral students ITAS: See Doctoral studies at ITAS


Hanna Dura, M.Sc.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe