Pedestrian Evacuation Planning for Major Events-a New Approach Combining Planning Aspects and Human Factors

Manfred Schrenk, Vasily Popovich, Peter Zeile, Pietro Elisei, Verena Reuter, Benjamin Sebastian Bergner, Annette Spellerberg, Verena Reuter, Annette Spellerberg
2012  reviewed paper Proceedings REAL CORP   unpublished
1 ABSTRACT People's safety and security in urban space has a high priority for planning decisions. Especially at major events pedestrian planning aspects play a decisive role for associated evacuation scenarios. A well-developed urban design of spatial environments, with its escape routes and infrastructure on-site, is consequently most important for a fast evacuation. The research project REPKA (Regional Evacuation: Planning, (K)Control, and Adaptation), funded by the German Federal Ministry
more » ... Federal Ministry of Education and Research, focuses on open space evacuation of major events, especially in case of national soccer matches. The soccer stadium of the 1st FC Kaiserslautern/Germany (up to 50.000 visitors), located in the inner city with a difficult topography, is centered in the project. First project results show that there are two determining factors to be regarded in context of pedestrian evacuation planning: a) urban design of escape routes in the event's surroundings and b) human factors, like socio-psychological mechanisms on the behavior, environmental perception and orientation of crowds under stress. The combination of these two factors, missing in research on open space evacuation until now, is discussed in this paper. Hence, in the research project REPKA, a spatial analysis was done to identify physical characteristics of escape routes and infrastructure. In addition, research in literature, standardized interviews (with visitors and security services) and observations concerning human factors were conducted. It became evident that different guidance systems (guidance staff, signage, new technologies) are essential for effective use of existing escape routes and a fast evacuation. Totaling, the results reveal that a well-regulated evacuation depends on a well-developed urban design combined with a guidance system including human factors. By this, evacuation time is reduced and thereby people's safety is improved. This paper aims to make a contribution to a new holistic approach in the field of pedestrian evacuation planning. Moreover, the findings have consequences for interdisciplinary approaches like modeling of pedestrian flows in computer evacuation simulation. 2 INTRODUCTION At present, mass events are continuously becoming more popular and take place more frequently. Security of attendees is of prime importance, but often not assured. Perilous situations can arise at any time when many people get together in a narrow place. Referring to the Hillsborough Disaster in Sheffield 1989, for example, or recently the Love Parade in Duisburg, Germany 2010, when too many people surged into a place already overcrowded. As a consequence, many people died and hundreds were injured because of too much pressure. There are a lot of other risks and accidents, which necessitate the breaking off or even the evacuation of a mass event. These may be a fire, bomb threat, technical faults or health hazards because of climatic conditions (heat, storm). There is a lot of research on evacuation of buildings, because the planning of escape and emergency routes are part of preventive fire protection and corresponding regulations. Furthermore, various simulation models regarding flight behavior during evacuation of buildings have already been developed (e. g. Shi et al.