Keeping crowds safe when danger strikes

An EU-funded project is developing a framework for better predicting pedestrian behaviour that could save lives by helping to safely evacuate crowds in emergency situations.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 16 July 2018  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Human resources & mobilityMarie Curie Actions
Research policyHorizon 2020
Security
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Germany
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Keeping crowds safe when danger strikes

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© TimSiegert-batcam #122552623, source: fotolia.com, 2018

The kind of modelling used to keep vehicle traffic flowing in cities is no good when it comes to predicting the complex and collective behaviour of pedestrians. But accurate forecasting is essential for authorities to keep people moving safely and smoothly at large events such as festivals, football matches and demonstrations – particularly when danger strikes.

Pedestrian behaviour is the result of a series of interdependent decisions. However, current simulation software is unable to present a realistic prediction of individual movements and crowd dynamics. Updated models are therefore essential for event organisers and local authorities when making decisions such as how many exits to open at a venue in normal circumstances and in case of emergency.

The EU-funded IPBMNES project addresses this challenge by aiming to develop a framework for pedestrian behaviour modelling based on mathematics and simulation tools. This framework could be used to advise local authorities and organisers of mass events in European cities, as well as for designing more efficient pedestrian facilities.

Specifically, researcher Venkatesan Kanagaraj at the Technical University Dresden in Germany is working on models that combine the complexities of vehicle traffic in places such as India with the behaviour of large crowds of people around football stadiums.

Kanagaraj, who received funding through the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship programme, has worked with drone operators at a football match in Croatia where he shot video of fans entering the ground through a single gate. He will examine the footage to study how people in a large crowd negotiate obstacles, with the findings feeding into his new framework.

Project details

  • Project acronym: IPBMNES
  • Participants: Germany (Coordinator)
  • Project N°: 656349
  • Total costs: € 171 460
  • EU contribution: € 171 460
  • Duration: January 2017 to December 2018

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