The Assessment of Transit Oriented Developments Using Microsimulation Models

The Assessment of Transit Oriented Developments Using Microsimulation Models

Nominated for The Planning for Sustainable Land Use and Transport Award


Emmet Ruxton, AECOM, Tara Tanoz-Sargeant, AECOM


A discussion on the effectiveness of microsimulation models as tools to assess Transport Oriented Developments in high density mixed use areas of cities with examples of pedestrian and interconnecting traffic and transit models.


As smart and sustainable transport has become a prominent feature in national and local policies, high density mixed use developments have become a common and convenient urban design option in large cities. Transit Oriented Developments integrate sustainable modes of transport within or near such areas. They help to improve the connectivity and accessibility while increasing the modal share of sustainable or public transport options and reducing car usage.

There are a variety of methods by which the effectiveness of such schemes can be evaluated based on site visits, vehicle and pedestrian counts and surveys. Such data can help to quantify the impacts of schemes using existing benchmarks, assessment frameworks such as the TOD standard, or alternative custom criteria for clients. Microsimulation models are used as an complimentary tool to help assess schemes and can be used in various stages of the design process from detailed design through changes to existing infrastructure. They aim to help establish effective pedestrian or traffic flows in high density urban environments, mixed use developments and transit stops. Interconnecting traffic, transit and pedestrian models are ideal for shared space or public transport schemes and can help to quantify and visualise the potential implications and the effects these have on traffic delays and journey times within an area. These models can help provide stakeholders with visual aids that improve understanding of designs, and the use of the urban environment. The ultimate aim is to inform cost effective intelligent and appropriate urban and transport design.

A series of case studies of both pedestrian and vehicular microsimulation models are presented across a range of applications. These aim to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of using microsimulation models, comparison to assessment frameworks and how they can help to enhance understanding of the way in which urban spaces are used. These examples have helped advise developers and local governments on a range of factors including; footfall through retail sites, land use recommendations, pedestrian routing, effectiveness of shared space schemes and way-finding through stations and public spaces.


Association for European Transport