Network analysis of reachable corridors within a 250' radius.

Analysis of potential route through building between two points.

urban and network analysis

In late 2015, a colleague and I began investigating the efficacy of urban network analysis on both building and campus design. Through two investigations, one building focused, and one campus focused we sought to better understand path utilization on campuses, and potential routes through a mock hospital corridor to improve crisis response. Utilizing the tools developed by the City Form Lab at Harvard University, we leveraged both GIS and Rhino modeling programs in our research. 

3d urban network analysis - building network analysis

The first study we undertook was to better understand the theoretical paths that may be traversed during an emergency - from doctors location (random) to patient care room. The two images above illustrate two separate operations, the left illustrates the reachable areas within 250' of a potential doctors route. The second graphic to the right illustrates the potential routes between two points within the hospital complex. The alternate routes are based upon research that indicates humans typically vary +/-10% off of the fastest path. Further research into these two metrics could lead to modifications of building layouts to either ensure the fastest routes or encourage them.

Potential routes through Johns Hopkins Campus between two points.

campus network analysis

Similar to the above study, a 2D version can be adapted to investigate path networks throughout a campus or urban setting. For this study, the Johns Hopkins Campus was used to study the fastest routes between two points. What is dissimilar between the building and campus setting is the larger variety of paths that a student could potentially take. Understanding what these routes are can help us better understand how the campus is being utilized, or, how the campus is inhibiting student movement. These inhibitors could be geographic, architectural, or site design based. If networks are longer between student housing and dining or emergency services, or between student housing and specific academic facilities, how could a campus restructure student locations in the future to enhance or improve student movement throughout the campus? What portions of the campus are the most heavily trafficked, and how could that prioritize master planning implementation strategies?

The next steps of the research are to incorporate slopes and stairs into the equation to study the movement disabled students and visitors. How does the experience of a disabled person relate to an able bodied person? Further on campuses or urban areas where there are a lot of steep slopes, how do current transportation networks respond?