Rural tourism pressure areas like Geirangerfjord, Flåm and Lofoten represent a unique challenge in transportation planning due to high seasonal fluctuations in requirements to transportation systems. These remote but honeypot areas have the combined problem of peripherality and congestion. In peak periods, traffic jams and visible local pollution are imminent problems.

In a broader time-perspective, degradation of the environmental quality and scenic beauty of the areas are critical concerns. Policymakers and other stakeholders need to consider possible measures for sustainable transportation systems in these areas, seeing various modes of transportation in context and assessing both social, economic and environmental impacts.

"Sustainable Transportation in Rural Tourism Pressure Areas" (SUSTRANS) aims to assist decision-makers in improving transportation systems in rural tourism pressure areas, using the Geiranger World Heritage area as a case study. The project output will be an integrated sustainability appraisal methodology for transportation systems. The project aims to do so with a strong focus on stakeholder involvement, inviting various interest groups to participate in expressing their interests, values and concerns pertaining to the transportation system.

This will help establish key performance indicators for the transportation system. A portfolio of improvement measures will be listed and further evaluated. By combining social, environmental, engineering and economic sciences, a complete tool for multi-criteria appraisals will  help evaluate the outcomes of different courses of action for transportation systems improvement. 

The project will be led by NTNU and is a collaboration with Volda University College, Sintef Technology and Society and the University of Bonn. The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council under the Transport 2025 program and will take place April 2017 to April 2020.