Modeling urban panic
Patterns of human behavior and movement in crowded cities – the tipping point at which agitated crowds become anti-social mobs, the configuration of civic areas as defensible spaces that also promote free speech, and the design of retail space that fosters walking – are at the core of an immersive, three-dimensional computational model under development by an ASU geographer.
In the areas of public safety and homeland security, the model can be used to examine questions asking how pedestrian interactions with cars can be minimized; what the early signs of antisocial behavior in large crowds are and how polarizing influences can be neutralized; and what strategies might be used to compel antisocial crowds into compliance without the use of force.
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