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Illustrating the Relationship between Pedestrian Movement and Urban Characteristics Using Large-Scale GPS Data

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Researchers from University of Tsukuba developed the pedestrian movement index to capture pedestrian count, distance walked, and time spent in metro station areas using large-scale Global Positioning System data. This index elucidates the relationship between pedestrian behavior and various urban-space elements (such as density, diversity, design, accessibility, and distance).

Tsukuba, Japan—Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a widely endorsed strategy for sustainable urban planning that encourages walking and transit ridership. In the context of TOD, assessing pedestrian behavior is crucial; for instance, walking behavior around railway stations is commonly quantified using pedestrian volumes. However, areas with similar pedestrian volumes may exhibit variations in walking distances and time spent around stations, necessitating a more comprehensive assessment approach.

In this study, researchers analyzed pedestrian behavior around stations in Tokyo's ward area using large-scale Global Positioning System data and developed the pedestrian movement index (PMI), which captures the number of pedestrians, walking distance, and time spent around stations. They also investigated the relationship between PMI and TOD attributes such as density, diversity, design, destination accessibility, and distance to transport options near stations. A comparative analysis of the three PMIs revealed that each offers unique insights into evaluating pedestrian movement. Moreover, the findings highlighted that TOD attributes, including land use diversity and road connectivity, are significantly related with the pedestrian count, traveled distances, and durations of stay in metro station area. However, the impact of these attributes varied across the PMIs.

These findings imply that policymakers should carefully select appropriate metrics that align with their policy objectives when assessing pedestrian movement in metro station areas. The insights gained are anticipated to contribute to the understanding of pedestrian behavior, aid the assessment of the current urban environment, and facilitate the planning of urban projects considering TOD principles.

This work was supported by the JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) KAKENHI Grant Numbers (JP19K15185, JP21K14314, JP23K13460) and the Hirose Foundation.

Original Paper

Title of original paper:
Pedestrian movement with large-scale GPS records and transit-oriented development attributes
Sustainable Cities and Society


Associate Professor Eom Sunyong
Institute of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba

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