Estimating density limits for walking pedestrians keeping a safe interpersonal distancing
Keywords: 
Nonlinear phenomena
Statistical physics
Issue Date: 
2021
ISSN: 
2045-2322
Note: 
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Citation: 
Echeverría-Huarte, I. (Iñaki); Garcimartín-Montero, Á. (Ángel); Cruz-Hidalgo, R. (Raúl); et al. "Estimating density limits for walking pedestrians keeping a safe interpersonal distancing". SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. 11 (1), 2021, 1534
Abstract
With people trying to keep a safe distance from others due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the way in which pedestrians walk has completely changed since the pandemic broke out1,2. In this work, laboratory experiments demonstrate the effect of several variables-such as the pedestrian density, the walking speed and the prescribed safety distance-on the interpersonal distance established when people move within relatively dense crowds. Notably, we observe that the density should not be higher than 0.16 pedestrians per square meter (around 6 m2 per pedestrian) in order to guarantee an interpersonal distance of 1 m. Although the extrapolation of our findings to other more realistic scenarios is not straightforward, they can be used as a first approach to establish density restrictions in urban and architectonic spaces based on scientific evidence.

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