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What is pedestrian modelling?

Pedestrian modelling is a powerful tool with applications across all types of facility designs. It can be used to improve architectural layouts, design process areas, validate the final design, and evaluate performance with quantifiable KPIs. Modelling can be applied to designs of varying complexity, from very simple corridor analysis to extensive and complex scenarios with numerous queue and process points. The cost of modelling always outweighs the benefits, as it enables early intervention for problem areas and a general refocus on the end user experience.


Pedestrian Modelling Primary Goal: Using microsimulation software to optimise and validate architectural designs.

Specific Uses:

  • Identify and resolve choke points/bottlenecks
  • Determine level of service (LOS: A-F)
  • Extract Performance Data:
  • Journey times,
  • Queue length,
  • Queue Time,
  • Validate design
  • Visualise operations


Pedestrian Modelling Primary Goal: Using microsimulation software to optimise and validate architectural designs.


  • Confidence in Design
  • Improved user experience
  • Right-sized corridors
  • Validated spatial planning
  • Efficient movement through space
  • Validate vertical transport facilities such as stairways, lifts, and escalators
  • Functional Adequacy – Validation of circulation, queueing, and other processes

Ramboll Pedestrian Modelling Experience


Project Examples


In situations with a high flow of pedestrians such as MRT stations, train stations, Airports, High Speed Rail (HSR) facilities, shopping malls or sports stadiums, it is important to treat the assessment of capacity for pedestrians in much the same way we do lanes of traffic. Vertix uses PTV VISWALK, a pedestrian micro-simulation package that allows us to analyse crowds of pedestrians under different scenarios; peak hour commuter movement, evacuation scenarios, queuing etc.

Vertix have been at the forefront of this field and have collaborated with architects / designers around the world. Through pedestrian simulation we can validate the provision of;

  • Access / openings;
  • Walkways / circulations spaces;
  • Escalators / staircase provisions for vertical transport;
  • Queuing spaces / crowding and any process flow;
  • Passenger boarding / alighting platforms.

Authorities are increasingly requiring pedestrian micro-simulation evaluation of critical transport infrastructure and high-impact facilities. Vertix can efficiently develop models to improve design and obtain necessary authority approvals.


To function well, MRT stations must optimise the flow of pedestrians, allowing many thousands of people to effortlessly through the station. Additionally, during emergency scenarios where the station must be evacuated, the capacity of the stations staircases and escalators must be well understood. Vertix has carried out this analysis using PTV VISWALK on many projects, including:

  • Singapore Downtown Line
  • Singapore North South Line
  • Singapore Thomson East Coast Line
  • Singapore Cross Island Line
  • Singapore Jurong Regional Line
  • Jakarta Metro
  • Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang Station
  • Helsinki Station


High Speed Rail terminals have unique spatial demands. The design must cater first and foremost to the passenger experience, while still respecting the operational demands of a complex station. Vertix offers the following services to help architects design their HSR terminals:

  1. Spatial Layout Pathfinding – Through desktop calculations and iterative pedestrian models, Vertix can help to size and position all front of house functional areas, including departures halls, CIQ and security facilities, lounges, ticketing areas, and corridors
  2. Design Verification – Pedestrian modelling is a powerful tool for validating a concept or preliminary design. In this phase, models are used to determine levels of service and adherence to service targets such as travel time and waiting time.
  3. Contingency Planning – functional areas must cater for their design target and foreseen scenarios, such as evacuations and surge periods. Vertix use pedestrian modelling to help understand the impacts of these situations.


Airport terminals must be planned with careful consideration of people movement that take into account all process flows; landside transport, check-in, security, customs, airside facilities (including retail), boarding, disembarking, and baggage collection.

Pedestrian micro-simulation modelling allows us to analyse these processes holistically, taking into account the dynamic interaction of people heading in different directions as well as queue processing and the space of trolleys, luggage etc. This gives a greater level of clarity over the required space considerations over traditional airport planning tools that do not model individual interactions.

These models allow us to work with architects / airport planners to optimize the design of new terminals, as well as advising on improvement requirements at existing terminal to maximise throughput capacity as travel demand continues to grow and airport operators must maximise the lifespan of existing assets. These visualisation and analysis tools are proven to be extremely helpful for investment decision making.

Vertix have developed pedestrian simulation models for a number of airport terminals around the world and can customise the operation to the behaviors observed at any location.


Tall buildings, shopping malls, large gathering places such as religious congregations, stadiums etc. all need to facilitate the movement of large numbers of people in compressed peak periods. While traditionally the realm of pedestrian analysis was reserved for commuter transport facilities, Vertix has now adapted this process for all types of developments.

Every time this process is applied in the design of large buildings, in collaboration with architects we have had excellent feedback with regards to the value added from visualising and optimising the movement of people during concept and schematic design.

Our team can rapidly develop and visualise the operation of any space / process to validate the design for; security processes, turnstiles, lobby spaces/lifts, escalators, check in/check out etc.

We have developed pedestrian simulation models to analyse a large array of different environments and can customise models to need any specific needs. Our experience of developing these models for building design and collaboration with architects (outside of transport facilities) includes models for;

  • Super Tall Towers
  • Shopping Malls
  • Places of worship
  • Hospitals
  • Large resort facilities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Universities

In all of these cases we have been able to improve the designs to ensure efficient functionality while still being value optimised.

Theme Park Amphitheatre Attraction
Hospital Corridor & Lift Analysis
Office Tower Lift Assessment
Grand Mosque (30,000 worshippers)
Grand Mosque Pedestrian Model

Vertix Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd (Vertix) conducted a study on a large, new mosque in a confidential location. The mosque will be the largest in the region and was designed to hold 30,000 worshippers on a weekly basis.

Singapore High Speed Rail Terminus

Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will soon be connected by a high speed rail network. The Singapore terminus will be located in the Jurong East area of Singapore.

Jurong Regional Line (JRL) Pedestrian Modelling

Vertix Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd (Vertix) conducted pedestrian modelling for various sections of the new Jurong Regional Line (JRL) in Singapore.