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Pilgrim crowd dynamics

Aljohani, Abdulaziz Mousa (2015)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Among the steady progression of disasters worldwide lie the numerous instances of fatality where crowds gather. The scale of these is particularly high at the Hajj in Makkah, where there are exceptionally high numbers of pedestrians in a number of confined areas and, depending on the time of year, all in searing heat.

In order to reduce the likelihood of repetition in the future, the present thesis involved firstly determining the characteristics of the pedestrians attending the Hajj, and then collecting speed, flow and density data by observing them walking along one of the busiest roads between the Holy Mosque and the other holy sites, Ajyad Street. These were analyzed against various models from the literature including those of Greenshield, Weidmann and Greenberg, and it was found that none of these fitted convincingly, mostly because pilgrims do not walk at the maximum speeds that the crowd density allows. This thesis proposes the use instead of a maximum possible speed model based on a linear relationship between speed and density i.e.
\(u\) ≤ 1.75 (1 - \(k\) /5.47) where \(u\) is speed (m/s) and \(k\) is density (people/m\(^2\)). It then goes on demonstrate with a simulation model that an increase of 50% in traffic with the current layout would result in severe overcrowding. This however could be avoided relatively easily by a particular combination of changing the directions of flow and the geometry of the road.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Hassan, Ahamedali M. and Tobias, Andrew M. and Hukins, David W. L.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Mechanical Engineering
Subjects:HT Communities. Classes. Races
QA Mathematics
TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6070
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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