The Oval Partnership and Loughborough University make progress with their collaboration to enhance pedestrian footfall analysis and forecasting

Loughborough University and the Oval Partnership are collaborating on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project to develop a pedestrian forecasting tool that will inform planning and design services for urban regeneration, master planning, and aid community engagement.

The project aims to provide stakeholders with evidence-based information to support their decision-making in regeneration efforts. According to Professor Marcus Enoch, Professor of Transport Strategy at Loughborough University, “Improved data and forecasting tools for pedestrian footfall plays a key role in a paradigm shift to encourage walking and enhance accessibility for sustainable transport modes. Improved pedestrian planning standards and tools will also bring benefits to organisations involved in community engagement on local planning issues”.

The project team recruited an accomplished data scientist, Olumide Odetunde, to lead the project. Further, the team assembled an expert advisory board, consisting of representatives from private and public sector client organisations and key stakeholders. The primary role of the advisory board is to provide an external perspective on market trends, end-user needs and critical challenges to the project team guiding the innovation to commercial deployment. The first project advisory board meeting takes place at the Loughborough University London campus, situated within an exciting community of organisations, including creatives and education providers located inside Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Dr Zoe Marshall-Jones from Loughborough University’s Research and Innovation Office described that:

“This project is a reminder of the value of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in facilitating cross-sector innovation across a wide range of UK companies. The diverse academic team supporting the project includes experts in the fields of urban planning, geospatial data science and machine learning.”

Jonathan Pile, Director of the Oval Partnership in the UK:

“Through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, we have been able to harness skills and knowledge from outside the traditional built environment professions. We look forward to working with the advisory board members to refine the brief for a cutting-edge tool to facilitate evidence-based planning.”

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) aim to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology, and skills within the UK knowledge base. This KTP project was funded by UKRI through Innovate UK.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.