Pedestrians have an important role in urban accessibility, representing, in the case of Lisbon city, ca. 20% of daily urban trips.
The choice for soft modes (pedestrians and cyclists, in this case) instead of using motorized modes has benefits considering the nonexistence of environmental impacts (energy consumption and pollutant emissions), as well as the reduction of congestion and space occupancy. Thus, it is important to understand and characterize these modes in order to better predict their behaviour, thus, promote its usage.
SoMoMUT project is a research work financed by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation with the aim of defining and creating a new tool for estimating pedestrian and cyclists’ indicators in urban areas considering not only time and distance, as has been seen in other pedestrian models, but also including local pollutant inhalation and energy consumption.
The model is applied to different individual types and route characteristics (age, gender, physical condition, road grade, LOS, pavement characteristics, among others), that are associated to respiratory rates for a pedestrian or cyclist specific effort class. These classes are estimated based on a VSP methodology used for motorized vehicles where vehicle specific fuel consumption and emissions obtained from measured data are grouped in operation modes that can be used to calculate consumption and emissions based on engine power requirements, in a second by second base.
As an output of this research work, a user-friendly model of pedestrian and cyclist’s pollutant inhalations, trip costs (time, distance) and energy consumed will be achieved, enabling a characterization and comparison of different urban areas taking into consideration people’s comfort.
This new methodology to estimate the effort needed as a pedestrian or cyclist in urban trips can be extremely valuable as a support for prioritize alternative projects and policies that promote the use of cleaner modes and, consequently, promote the reduction of environmental impacts.
The SoMoMUT project allowed the development of the model and the definition of a new methodology for assessing pedestrian trips, in order to evaluate the total PM potential inhaled dose (PPID) and the energy consumption for different trips, according to PM concentration levels, pedestrian activity (external power requirements) and minute ventilation, considering street topography (slope), walking speed and pedestrian characteristics (weight, age, gender).
The results of the projects have been condensed in a number of scientific papers available on the project website: