Distancing, Density and Flow in the one-and-a-half-meter society a brief illustrated guide. V1.3

Publiciatie 02-03-2021

Physical distancing is one of the basic pillars of resuming public life and safely organizing events. The concept of physical distancing is further quantified into "visitor density". In relation with crowd safety, a distinction is made between static and more dynamic zones. After all, density determines both the capacity of a place and the flow rate of a passageway or pedestrian flow route. The same applies to the approach to physical distancing, a person in motion simply needs more space than a static person. This is also included as such in the Covid Event Risk Model (CERM),  the Code of Conduct (CoC) and the Exit protocol Event sector for the event sector in Belgium.


The space required per person, the Personal Area Module (PAM) or per cluster of people CAM and per type of zone static or dynamic, depending on the 1.50 meter distancing (D), can be approached and calculated in two different ways (1) the 'nose' method and (2) the 'body projection' or 'no touch' method.


This document is based on a study of international academic literature related to crowd management, crowd dynamics and the use of density as a means to facilitate distancing. An overview is offered of the different ways to approach and calculate density and the associated parameters. In addition, the flow capacity of a "high street" under physical distancing is examined more closely.


In addition, a proposal for an approach to density based on clusters is made. Density and the safe and common values in function of crowd safety and smooth flow and operation were in the past and under "normal" circumstances each time approached from the individual. In the context of physical distancing, however, it may be useful to approach this from a cluster of people who do not have to keep a distance, the close contacts or the household.

Are actively involved or interested, whether as a policy maker, entrepreneur or organizer, safety manager or security... then we would like to invite you to read the study here. The combination of parameters such as capacity and density with crowd management tools for analysis and simulation demonstrate how physical distancing can be developed, optimized and motivated as a concept within just about any context that involves interaction between people.

If you have any questions related to distancing or crowd management, feel free to contact our Crowd Safety expert Bert Bruyninckx, +32 492 934258,  bert.bruyninckx@360-solutions.eu