Dynamic modelling allows the recreation of real-life movements of people and crowds within the computer simulation environment. A typical pedestrian simulation model should consist of three main ‘ingredients’: layout, pedestrian numbers and pedestrian behaviour.

The model can take into account a number of variables including:

  • Time – The simulation can robustly imitate a real-life operation or performance of a building with its users over time
  • Different walking speeds – Not everyone walks with the same speed. Children, elderly, people with heavy luggage or with other movement restrictions generally walk slower than typical commuters of a metro station in rush hours. Consideration of how quickly or slowly different people walk can be replicated in the simulation.
  • People sizes – People need more or less space when they move throughout an area. This can be replicated in the simulation model, with the following taken into consideration:
    • Footprint size – people with luggage or bicycles would occupy more space than those without
    • Personal space needs – highly variable, can be related to cultural differences between different countries
    • Crowding – people can accept reduced size of personal space in particular situations such as when travelling on a busy train or in the lift

The results of this type of assessment are usually measurable and allow detailed analysis in for any particular given time period for:

  • Space utilisation
  • Densities
  • Crowding and congestion
  • Queuing
  • Processing
  • Flow rates
  • Walk and clearance time

Using this technique can allow numerous scenarios to be assessed at any stage in the design and planning process, including:

  • Evacuation (standard or with one or more exit routes blocked)
  • Future growth in pedestrian numbers for any given year
  • Comparison of alternative design layouts
  • Comparison of alternative operational parameters
  • Special events
  • Construction phasing

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