Network, Network, Network: New Techniques in Pedestrian Movement Analysis
Nominated for The Planning for Sustainable Land Use and Transport Award
Martin Wedderburn, Independent Consultant, Alain Chiaradia, University of Cardiff
Pedestrian movement analysis tools have become an integral part of transport planning practice in just a few years.Several project examples illustrate the latest developments in pedestrian movement analysis and key challenges for the future.
While walking is a universal mode of travel and an essential element of any successful transport system, for many years walking was the invisible mode in transport planning practice and analysis.
On a policy level, walking is increasingly recognised as generating a wide range of benefits in terms of health and wellbeing, environment, social inclusion, liveability and local economic vitality. As a result, pedestrian movement analysis tools have become an integral part of mainstream transport planning practice in just a few years.
The analysis and forecasting of walking behaviour takes place on a number of scales from strategic area-wide models to the micro-simulation of small public spaces. The authors will present several project examples illustrating the latest developments in pedestrian movement analysis, including innovative applications of direct models and pedestrian route assignment.While many early pedestrian movement analysis tools were developed in isolation from other transport and land use planning methods, the forecasting of walking patterns can now sit comfortably within the standard transport planning and modelling toolbox. This has been achieved because new pedestrian movement analysis tools have adopted compatible networks and concepts and, last but not least, simply because they have adopted the language of transport planning.
Looking forward to the future, the authors argue that the pace of innovation will continue to be rapid for several reasons. Active travel modes are near the top of the transport policy agenda and are therefore the subject of an increasing volume of transport analysis, while external factors technological trends are also driving forward the pace of change. These changes will continue to make visible and render the analysis of walking as a mode, and multimodal travel involving walking, more visible in all aspects of transport planning and modelling. And ultimately they will have a significant impact on how transport projects are conceived, modelled and evaluated by practitioners.Yet some coordination of the data needs for pedestrian movement analysis is required to guarantee a minimum level of consistency and comparability of approaches.
Association for European Transport