London Olympics 2012

Crowd modelling advice for London Olympics 2012


Movement Strategies was the principal crowd planning consultant for the Games from masterplanning in 2006 through detailed design, operations planning and delivery of the last day of operations of the Paralympic Games in 2012. From 2006 until the last day of the Paralympics, Movement Strategies were engaged as the Principal Crowd Planning Consultants, and advised many of the key stakeholders on safe and secure delivery of the Games. We worked as part the architectural and engineering consortium that designed, developed and delivered the Olympic Park on behalf of the Olympic Delivery Authority, including ODA Transport, Transport for London and Network Rail. We worked for LOCOG, the organising committee that delivered the event from planning to operations. We were part of the venue design teams for Water Polo and the iconic Aquatics Centre. Throughout our involvement, our role was to ensure that designs and operational plans delivered a safe and memorable visitor experience.


Olympic delivery authority

2006 - 2012


Amongst the 100+ projects we delivered in support of the Games, the following activities shaped key aspects of the event.

We authored the design standards for crowd movement and safety on behalf of ODA and LOCOG and developed the demand forecasts for the Olympic Park, combining these into the ‘Data Book’ that became the 'bible' for informing and assessing the design of infrastructure and venues.

Our demand forecasting and ticketing analysis led to the increase in tickets on sale, and generated additional revenue for LOCOG.

We led the ‘Operability’ consultancy team that combined crowd movement, accessibility, security and transport disciplines to develop the baseline Concept of Operations for the Olympic Park.

Our crowd modelling and simulation work and expertise was central to securing planning consents and safety licensing for the proposals.

Our dynamic crowd simulations informed the detailed design of many of the Olympic Park’s most critical nodes, including the Pedestrian Screening Areas.


We influenced the size, shape and design of most elements of the Olympic Park, including the Common Domain connecting the venues, the landscape, the security screening areas, all bridges (where we reduced their number and width saving tens of millions of pounds), the event overlay and Ceremonies. Our work extended outside the Park into the ‘Last Mile’ through Westfield Shopping Mall into the Olympic transport hubs, and to many other venues in London and around the country.

In parallel workstreams we undertook crowd modelling and operational planning for Stratford Station and other key London stations, such as London Bridge, St Pancras International and Charing Cross. During the Games our team members were embedded in the POC (Park Operations Centre) at the Olympic Park and the Event Control Room at ExCeL, managing the live crowd monitoring tool which supported management of the Park. Across London, other members of the team were embedded in TfL providing real-time intelligence to its senior managers on the performance of London’s transport network. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were regarded as the best ever and a great success for London. We made a substantial contribution to their success.

“On behalf of the Olympic Park Health, Safety & Licensing team it gives us considerable pleasure to thank you for your contribution to the London 2012 Games. It is wonderful that the Games were considered to be such a huge success and this may well not have been the case had it not been for your contribution. I can honestly say that the money I spent with your company was the best spent of my entire budget.
The fruits of your labours on crowd modelling proved to be vital to the safe running of the Olympic Park and were on display for all to see during the Games.”
David Demolder, Head of Health, Safety and Licensing, London 2012
"Movement Strategies were instrumental in creating a design for the Olympic Park which provided for flexibility in the Games-time operations while balancing the cost and legacy objectives of the ODA. This integration of operations into design is rarely achieved.Their credibility in crowd dynamics also ensured that the needs and experience of visitors were given full consideration in the value engineering process during the Games project. The holistic approach adopted by Simon and his team enabled us to create spaces that operated well, but were also embedded with a considered approach to place making and appropriately scaled places responding to the overall context of the Olympic Park setting.”
Kevin Owens, Design Principal, LOCOG

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