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Tower of London

Improvement of Pedestrian Flow around The Tower of London

Background

The Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracting over 3 million visitors every year. Since 2013, Movement Strategies has provided visitor movement and circulation advice to Historic Royal Palaces, helping to ensure that this unique attraction is able to accommodate the predicted increase in visitor numbers.

Pioneering better attractions

Tower of London

Location:
London


Client:

Historic Royal Palaces 

Year:
2013 - Present

Brief

Movement Strategies was appointed to provide specialist visitor movement advice to the Historic Royal Palaces’ masterplan team. The original brief focused on the circulation patterns and visitor behaviour in and around the Jewel House, home to the Crown Jewels. This has evolved to include an assessment and ongoing design input for the wider estate. Opportunities to improve the general visitor experience through more effective circulation and spatial configuration were explored and proposed to the client team.

What we did

Our team developed an evidence-based approach to the study through the collection of visitor movement data, using a variety of technologies. Developing validated models and using these tools in an appropriate way ensured that our spatial designs and operational advice was robust. We have deployed a number of technologies and analytical tools to support the advice we have delivered to Historic Royal Palaces:

  • ‍Extensive data collection exercises (Bluetooth, CCTV, manual tracking surveys) to deliver an evidence base of actual visitor behaviours and circulation patterns such as, routes used, itineraries, dwell times, variations due to demographics or seasonality;
  • Identification of key movement trends to inform space planning needs across the site, both within the Tower walls and beyond. This included the interface with the surrounding public realm;
  • Dynamic micro-simulation modelling to predict visitor movement patterns, capacities and comfort levels to test and evaluate new designs and operational scenarios for example, new visitor entrances, ticketing arrangements etc.

Results

Our user-centered and evidence-based approach supported our recommendations for design and operational changes. Benefits included:

  • ‍Delivery of practical circulation and space planning design advice within a protected and confined physical environment;
  • Improvement in time to entry queues being significantly reduced at peak times, from 10 minutes to less than 2 minutes;
  • Provision of quantitative measures to capture the visitor experience and site performance, including new benchmarking indices to inform and monitor future performance;
  • Emphasis on improving the visitor ‘welcome’ by breaking down the arrival experience into its component parts; a demonstration on how the visitor experience could be enriched at the same time as increasing the capacity of the attraction;
  • Development of modelling tools and a site-specific database which can be used to inform, test and evaluate future space planning and operational decisions in a cost effective and robust manner.