Counting pedestrians to make pedestrians count

  • Author: Peter Dizikes
  • Source: MIT News Office

Andres Sevtsuk’s new work estimates foot traffic in cities — so planners and developers can study the flow of people, not just vehicles.

A key portion of MIT’s campus overlaps with Kendall Square, the bustling area in East Cambridge where students, residents, and tech employees scurry around in between classes, meetings, and meals. Where are they all going? Is there a way to make sense of this daily flurry of foot traffic?

In fact, there is: MIT Associate Professor Andres Sevtsuk has made Kendall Square the basis of a newly published model of pedestrian movement that could help planners and developers better grasp the flow of foot traffic in all cities.

Sevtsuk’s work emphasizes the functionality of a neighborhood’s elements, above and beyond its physical form, making the model one that could be used from Cambridge to Cape Town.

 

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