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Impact COVID-19 on CityFlows project

From: Dorine Duives (PI CityFlows)
Date: 23 June 2020

COVID-19 has rapidly spread across the world. Very evasive measures have been required to limit the impact of this new disease on the general health of the population. In Europe, most countries have instigated different versions of a lockdown strategy. Shops and restaurants have been closed, people were asked to work from home as much as possible, schools were requested to provide online education and all large-scale events have been cancelled for the time being.

The CityFlows project features four living labs that would showcase the new crowd management decision support system (CM-DSS). In particular, the timing of the living labs and locations were chosen in a way that an event was ongoing in public space featured in the living lab and large crowds gathered. In 2020, the chance of a crowd gathering are very slim. Thus, the CityFlows team has been working hard to come up with a mitigation strategy.

The mitigation strategy looks as follows:

  • The backbone of the CM-DSS is still strengthened in 2020
  • The exploration start-up featuring the CM-DSS will still be finalized by the end of December 2020
  • The simulations of the Barcelona living lab locations are still occurring in 2020
  • The simulations of the Milan living lab are exchanged for a large data analysis of telecom data that will support the operation of the CM-DSS in Milan in 2021.
  • The scope of the living lab featuring the River IJ has been altered to now cover the use of it-based crowd management decision support tools to manage crowds under social distancing regimes.
  • The partners do their utmost best to make the necessary arrangements to quickly create the living labs in 2021, when the situation allows for it.
  • We do our utmost best to secure funding to take the CityFlows project into 2021, as we are confident that live on the streets will go back to a new normal in 2021.

The situation changes quickly, thus we will keep you posted.