Social Distancing Dashboard provides roadmap for city dwellers

As countries take their first tentative steps towards loosening COVID-19 lockdown, society faces the difficult task of maintaining social distancing rules in practice.

With growing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists returning to city streets, keeping a safe distance of 1.5m can be a challenge in many urban areas due to the way public space (or lack of it) has been designed. The Social Distancing Dashboard, a project led by scientists from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), in collaboration with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute), helps to raise awareness about constraints posed by the design of public space and contributes to decision making for COVID-19 related interventions in urban planning.

Putting social distancing on the map

The Social Distancing Dashboard creates city maps that show on a street and neighborhood level if social distance rules can be respected when moving in public space. It offers an overview of different factors – such as the width of the footpath and location of bus stops – affecting our ability to respect social distancing rules.

The dynamic and color-coded maps are open access and available for use by e.g. policymakers, charged with making decisions on public health and city planners, tasked with making COVID-19 related interventions in the urban space. The dashboard is also intended to raise awareness amongst city residents – especially those in risk groups – who want to navigate the city streets as safely as possible.

The team of researchers, led by TU Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design’s Assistant Professor and Research Fellow at AMS Institute, Dr. Achilleas Psyllidis, kicked off the project with a dashboard for Amsterdam. .

High resolution images from the dashboard visualizing the analyses for the city of Amsterdam can be downloaded here (©TU Delft/AMS Institute).

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