2004 volume 31(6) pages 805 – 828

Cite as:
Willis A, Gjersoe N, Havard C, Kerridge J, Kukla R, 2004, "Human movement behaviour in urban spaces: implications for the design and modelling of effective pedestrian environments" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 31(6) 805 – 828

Download citation data in RIS format

Human movement behaviour in urban spaces: implications for the design and modelling of effective pedestrian environments

Alexandra Willis, Nathalia Gjersoe, Catriona Havard, Jon Kerridge, Robert Kukla

Received 9 August 2003; in revised form 20 January 2004

Abstract. Despite a burgeoning research effort directed at the design and modelling of effective urban spaces for pedestrians, remarkably little is known about how pedestrians actually negotiate urban spaces. This paper reports the results of a video-based observational study aimed at exploring: (1) individuals' movement preferences within uncluttered environments, in particular: (a) desired walking speed, (b) microscopic position preferences, and (c) interpersonal distances between companions while walking; and (2) the ways in which these variables might be influenced by the various personal, situational, and environmental factors that characterise the context in which pedestrians move. The microscopic movement trajectories of 2613 participants were investigated in a covert, video-based observational study of three mixed-use (residential/retail) urban environments close to the city centres of Edinburgh and York, United Kingdom. Age, gender, level of mobility, group size, time of day, and location were found to have significant effects on movement preferences across the range of locations studied. We concluded that a number of influential factors affect how humans negotiate urban spaces, and suggested how these factors may be taken into account in attempts to design and model effective urban spaces for pedestrians.

Restricted material:

PDF Full-text PDF size: 298 Kb

HTML References  39 references, 12 with DOI links (Crossref)

Your computer (IP address: has not been recognised as being on a network authorised to view the full text or references of this article. This content is part of our deep back archive. If you are a member of a university library that has a subscription to the journal, please contact your serials librarian (subscriptions information).