Methodology and results of an international observational study on pedestrian movement tracking anonymised Wi-Fi signals from mobile phones
Conference contribution, 2018
This paper presents the methodology and results of an international observational study on pedestrian movement, using innovative high-end technology of tracking anonymised Wi-Fi signals from mobile phones. The pedestrian survey was conducted during three weeks in October 2017 in 60 neighbourhoods across three cities in Europe - London, Amsterdam, Stockholm. The survey was led by Chalmers University in cooperation with Bumbee Labs consultancy firm.
More than 300 streets of different network centrality profiles were monitored, ranging from small alleys to high streets, in neighbourhoods which differed in density type,from suburban villa areas of low density to central high-density areas with primarily closed building blocks.The aim is to quantify the separate and combined effects of spatial form, particularly built density and street centrality, on pedestrian movement. The collected data record how many people passed each street per hour, but also their average speed and exact paths through the area; revealing both flow patterns and intensities, and the microstructure of individual paths.
The paper, first, presents the methodology and technology of collecting and processing anonymised pedestrian data through mobile phone Wi-Fi tracking and the results of the study. Then, results are tested against spatial variables and types to discuss how movement is influenced by street centrality, density and other attractors. Finally, the paper discusses the possible utilisations of pedestrian data in urban analysis and design, not least in a time when big data become increasingly accessible and when the boost of pedestrian mobility in cities is a central planning objective.
international pedestrian survey