Volume, Density and the People Movement Industry - Calculating Volumetric Space

Authors: Andrea Connor*, Western Sydney University, Donald McNeill , Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University
Topics: Urban Geography, Economic Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Volume, Capacity, Density, Data Analytics, People movement,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Roosevelt 0, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The recent 'volumetric turn' in geography has refocused attention on the dimensionality of the built environment and the conjoined issues of volume and capacity in complex urban spaces such as public transport nodes. Large cities are increasingly faced with the problems and possibilities of "volume": the stacking and moving of people and things within booming central business districts that are expanding vertically above and below the ground plane. Optimising connectivity and people flow between vertical and horizontal modes of transport and surface and underground spaces is becoming a major logistical challenge in cities and governments are increasingly looking for ways to squeeze more capacity out of existing and new infrastructure. This paper considers the emergence of the People Movement Industry as a new form of 'urban logistics' and its growing influence in calculating capacity and managing volume in complex three-dimensional spaces. Applying calculative techniques based on predictive data analytics and simulation modelling of people flow consultancy firms specialising in people movement look to find 'efficiencies' and predict capacity in complex volumetric spaces. This new “science of circulation”, the paper argues, is becoming part of the calculative infrastructure of major urban renewal projects and existing infrastructure nodes - ‘pushing the envelope’ in high density built environments where people traffic is dense and likely to involve multi-dimensional movement up, down and across spatial planes. The volumetric expertise of the People Movement Industry, the paper argues, is thus emerging as a significant agent in shaping volumetric sites for value maximisation.

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