Microsimulation pedestrian modelling

Hydrock’s transportation team is actively using PTV Viswalk, the latest microsimulation modelling, to help clients predict the movement of people in relation to public space, building and infrastructure design/evacuation procedures.

Simulating pedestrian behaviour

Pedestrian simulation is an ideal solution for architects, planners, event managers, facility managers and fire protection engineers who need to consider how pedestrians will react and respond to the built environment both inside and outside. Put simply, it models human walking behaviour.

In combination with PTV Vissim we also simulate the interaction of people with vehicular traffic and transport, for example around new road layouts and at rail stations and airports.

As a microscopic software for pedestrian simulation, PTV Viswalk is particularly well-suited for urban and construction planning, pedestrian safety planning, evacuation measures, integrated transport planning and numerous other applications aimed at ensuring a smooth flow of pedestrians.

The benefits of PTV Viswalk/Vissim

  • Realistic, true to life outputs
  • Model any number of pedestrians
  • Evaluate different traffic or routing scenarios
  • Analyse impacts of queues and dwell times
  • Model impacts on journey times
  • Powerful 2D and 3D visual representation for public consultation
  • Capacity planning and alternative design concepts for buildings
  • Compare alternative planning scenarios by cost and results
  • Evacuation planning
  • Model pedestrians in multi-modal environments.

Uses of PTV Viswalk

Rail station planning

  • Analyse the effects of a station’s architecture, such as platforms, corridors, escalators and lifts on the route of choice through a station
  • Model pedestrians interacting with public transport
  • Analyse how the behaviour of passengers boarding a train affects the train’s dwell times.

Transport planning – development

  • Model the impact of pedestrian flows on vehicle journey times and routing decisions
  • Evaluate different traffic scenarios, for example impacts of signal control systems at complex intersections on waiting time, and plan pedestrian crossings, or adjust the infrastructure to actual traffic and pedestrian volumes
  • Visual representation for public consultation.

Facility planning

  • Analyse capacity and use space efficiently
  • Avoid bottlenecks and remove possible spatial barriers when planning new development
  • Compare alternative planning variants by the relation of costs to results.

Event planning

  • Visualise the flow of people based on simulation results
  • Realistic routing to show where facilities such as shops, bathrooms and escape routes can be placed in an optimal way
  • Evaluate capacities and security procedures
  • Display the simulation results in a 2D or 3D environment.

Evacuation analysis

  • Ensure pedestrian safety is paramount in public spaces
  • Evaluate structural and organisational measures to reduce and control unmanageable behaviour of people in emergency situations
  • Analyse potential danger and plan pedestrian flows in buildings, stadiums and other facilities
  • Simulate escape routes and evacuation scenarios in high-rise buildings and tunnels when considering emergency scenarios, such as fire or security emergencies. We work closely with our Fire Engineering team, using PTV Viswalk to test emergency evacuation procedures.

Discover more

Contact Mark Rowe, Technical Director in our Transportation business to discuss how these cutting-edge modelling techniques can be applied to your design and planning projects.

Our illustrative animation (top of page) shows how pedestrians interact with obstacles such as barriers or physical obstructions (shown in maroon as structural pillars), as well as other pedestrians in a counterflow. This is shown by introducing pedestrians leaving the station, as well as introducing pedestrians arriving at the station, with both types of pedestrians having to navigate the obstacles around them. The model is played at 3x speed.