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.