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Design factors influencing pedestrian movement patterns in enclosed shopping malls Elgalali, Ossama Ahmed

Abstract

This empirical study is based on a broad premise of relationship between human behavior pattern and the elements of the environment. Despite developments in architectural psychology and in studies of human spatial behavior there is still a lack of data and information on factors of design which most influence the users in enclosed shopping malls. The study took the form of an empirical investigation of pedestrian movement pattern in three enclosed shopping malls in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, namely, Harbour, Royal and Pacific Centre Malls. The objective of the study was to record and compare the human behavior pattern in the three study areas and to make a correlational analysis between this behavior pattern and the elements of the environment such as the floor materials, the spatial characteristics of storefronts, the mall layouts and store locations in order to test whether or not any such correlation of sufficient relevance exists. The method, employed is this study, for data gathering on pedestrian movement behavior is called "tracking". By tracking a sample of typical users of the three enclosed shopping malls it has been possible to obtain a composite pattern of pedestrian movement in terms of channel of movement, stopping and entering stores, velocity and head movement. The hypotheses regarding the factors that influence pedestrian movement were supported by the correlational analysis. The summary of findings were that: 1. The softer the floor covering material in the mall, the slower the pedestrians walk. 2. The greater the storefront length, the more likely that the pedestrians stop and enter, but the less time they spend at the storefront. 3. The greater the number of angles of storefront articulation, the more likely that the pedestrians stop, spend more time at the storefront and enter the store. 4. Seats at the storefront whether occupied or not do not have any statistically significant effect on the frequency of stopping, duration of stopping and frequency of entering. 5. The greater the total number of angles of storefront articulation per foot, the more likely that the pedestrians deccelerate, stop, spend more time at the storefront and enter the store. 6. The greater the number of changes in route direction, the more likely that the pedestrians deccelerate. 7. Stores at corner location do not have any statistically significant effect on the frequency of stopping and entering. 8. The closer the store is located to the mall entrance the more likely that the pedestrians stop and enter. 9. Pedestrians prefer walking on soft surfaces rather than hard surfaces. 10. There is a preference of movement in the mall for the channels which do not provide any visual breaks. 11. Pedestrian movement gravitates towards the central area of the mall.

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