The development of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site is one of the most important design projects in recent U.S. history. The individual visiting experience has been an extremely important issue to the designers and planners; it is essential that the site provide a respectful environment to thousands of visitors each day. In order to facilitate this vision, The Louis Berger Group developed a detailed computer simulation of pedestrian circulation at the memorial and in the surrounding area to evaluate the complex pedestrian environment, analyze the site to scale in two-dimensions, model real-time pedestrian movements and accurately model pedestrian movement and behavior. The model allowed our client to determine whether the design could adequately accommodate the projected number of visitors to the site.
The model encompassed several areas in and around the memorial, including an eight-acre plaza, the museum and the surrounding streetscape. LBG analyzed the model results to inform planners and designers how best to use the available open space, reduce crowding, place directional and informational signs, locate queues and create a pedestrian-friendly layout for the Memorial Plaza, which will feature two massive voids mirroring the original Twin Towers, as well as more than 400 Swamp White Oak trees. The pedestrian simulation reduced the number of design iterations and enabled more cost-effective design solutions while preserving the design intent: to create a contemplative oasis in the midst of Lower Manhattan.
By modeling important public pedestrian spaces like the 9/11 Memorial, a new and unprecedented level of pedestrian planning was brought to the design process. In recognition of the innovative and effective integration of computer-simulated pedestrian modeling into the design process, the project won the National Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Transportation Achievement Award for Pedestrians. The project also received the Diamond Award for New York State from the American Council of Engineering Companies. We continue to provide pedestrian consulting services throughout the construction of the Memorial and in preparation for its opening in 2011.
Related Links: National 9/11 Memorial