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Tool for Predicting Pedestrian Flow Expands Its Reach

By MIT News

October 14, 2021

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed and applied a predictive model of pedestrian traffic to Melbourne, Australia.

The tool employs individual buildings as trip origins and destinations, routing pedestrian trips over sidewalk networks.

MIT's Andres Sevtsuk said, "Our model can predict changes in pedestrian volume resulting from changes in the built environment and the spatial distribution of population, jobs, and business establishments. This provides a framework to understand how new developments can affect pedestrian flows on city streets."

When fed several years of Melbourne data, the model predicted pedestrian volume changes at the individual property level with 74% to 82% accuracy.

The researchers said the tests confirmed that the tool generates thorough predictions of foot traffic for a large number of streets, even when pedestrian traffic data-monitoring locations are limited.

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