Trade and Mobility on the Rooftop of the World: Gravity Ropeways in Nepal

Authors: Dr. Priti Parikh, University of London and Andrew Lamb, Engineers Without Borders

This case study looks at a rare and challenging mode of transportation: the gravity ropeway. These are mechanically powered devices that, despite their simplicity, are difficult to implement safely but make a dramatic difference to the movement of goods and people. The case study is based solely on work by Practical Action Nepal (Practical Action Nepal, 2014).

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. The contextual considerations of a technology, using the example of a gravity ropeway
  2. That simple technologies are not necessarily easy to engineer
  3. Applying numerical analysis to a real-world situation
  4. The roles of technology and professionalism in promoting human development

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

Class Activity: Individual work and design with numerical analysis – ropeway design and loading.

Homework Activity: Individual work and personal research and essay – alternative contexts and implications for design and socio-economic factors.

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