Simulation of pedestrian accessibility to assess the spatial distribution of urban amenities

Keywords: urban simulation, agent-based modeling (ABM), accessibility, people’s preferences, urban planning


A city can be perceived as a framework for the everyday activities of its residents, whose movements create complex network patterns as consequences of their individual decisions. Given that there are apparent differences in the use of urban amenities among residents of different ages, we examined the spatial distribution of urban amenities with regard to the preferences of various age groups and the pedestrian accessibility of amenities. In this paper, we propose an algorithm for detecting the most favorable combinations for the spatial distribution of urban amenities, in order to minimize the total walking distances and maximum frequencies of pedestrians of different age groups. The proposed method focuses on the parametric interpretation of various age groups, their preferences for urban amenities, the mutual proximity between residential and non-residential areas, and crowd intensity. Since residents act as agents whose individual decisions are not predictable, we used agent-based modeling to simulate pedestrian movement in order to optimize the spatial distribution of amenities. The digital environment, which allows the parameterization of different types of data, is used for simulation performance. The simulation outcome is quantitatively presented through two criteria of pedestrian accessibility, whose mutual relationship is used to detect the final, optimized combination for the spatial distribution of amenities. This approach can assist with a better understanding of pedestrian dynamics and support pedestrian-friendly choices in urban systems. Finally, the algorithm is applied to the case study of real space in a brownfield location.


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