Eunsu Kim


Journey as Destination: Route Recommendation for Pedestrian Experience

Advised by Alex Krieger and Andres Sevtsuk

Urban designers and planners have shown increasing interest in walkability, which not only enriches everyday life for pedestrians but also offers more opportunities for social interaction. Improving the pedestrian experience in the city improves the quality of urban life. Although we often believe that efficiency is the value that we need to pursue the most in Smart Cities, when it comes to human experience, more factors need to be considered. Most research finds that time is the most critical factor when pedestrians choose their routes. However, there is a trade-off between efficiency and experience; people may choose to walk longer to maximize their joyous experience if they only need to walk a few more minutes. It is not feasible for individuals to make a perfect decision due to the insufficient information from their own experience or navigation apps. Therefore, can we enrich the pedestrian experience by offering alternatives calculated with qualitative information? Through this research, the pedestrian’s current route choice is quantified according to how far it detours from the shortest route as a trade-off for efficiency. And the preferable route, determined by pedestrian preferences, is also suggested. This methodology allows pedestrians to choose an optimized route based on individual criteria. By offering alternatives within the existing infrastructure of the city, this research attempts to reshape the journey into a more joyous one. As a result, the journey becomes more than a way to arrive somewhere, and a destination itself.

Eunsu Kim, MDes. Route choice improvement by measuring pedestrian experience. Aerial rendering of a densely built city with a grid street design and a long landscaped park. A street on the left is labeled "ORIGIN" and a street on the right is labeled "DESTINATION"
Eunsu Kim, MDes. Pedestrian decision-making flow chart.
Image credit: Ewing and Handy 2009; Zhao 2020
Eunsu Kim, MDes. Scatter plot: comparison of foot traffic frequency in each scenario model (segment)
Eunsu Kim, MDes. Prototype shown on several smartphones.
Eunsu Kim, MDes. Recommendation system algorithm (wayfinding/urban exploration).