Crowd flow

  • Thread starter BenVitale
  • Start date
I'd like to know more about the flow of crowds in
(a) a crowd moving in a hall/corridor
(b) crowds moving on a sidewalk

(a) If you're in a crowd passing through a corridor is it faster in the middle or next to the wall?

With a fluid, it is faster next to the wall rather than in the middle of the fluid.

And, bottleneck at a door/exit

(b) on a sidewalk, people are moving in two directions, they constantly adjust their paths to reflect congestion and other dynamic factors.

What is the best location in a crowd to be?


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What is the best location in a crowd to be?
There is no one answer fits all. It depends on far too many parameters. E.g. a crowd at the entry to a football stadium is different from a crowd leaving it. Fluid dynamics is the correct model. But as in fluids, there might also occur chaotic behavior in some circumstances.

I remember I once was in a crowd leaving a ferry. That wasn't easy, since nobody knew which deck was the one that matched the tide. It turned out the best place was behind an old couple who had trouble to walk. It was like driving in the shadow of an emergency vehicle, everybody took care and let them pass. I cannot imagine a model which would take such a phenomenon into account. So again: there is no answer to your question.

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