AMS Running Amsterdam

Analysis of running behaviour through crowdsourced data

Project on analysis of running behaviour through crowdsourced data by Wageningen UR and AMS students Mart Reiling and Thijs Dolders.

This study aims to develop planning and design interventions that improve the spatial conditions of (sub) urban public space for running, thus contributing to the design of “healthy” city environments and focuses on two aspects: the spatial behaviour of runners and the underlying motives, such as preferences and experiences that determine this behaviour.

The runner’s behaviour is studied by analysing running track data collected by personalized running Apps (runkeeper and strava). This crowdsourced data shows us the spatial-temporal behaviour and generates more detailed knowledge on running behaviour that was not possible before. In our study we analysed almost 80.000 running activities in Amsterdam, including information on where and when people have been running.

We found differences in running patterns by long and short distance runners, different times of the day (daytime and after sunset), different parts of the week, different seasons and different outdoor temperatures. These results will be related to auxiliary data on environmental aspects, relevant for public health, for example atmospheric fine particular matter and urban traffic density. Consequently we can give a preliminary image of places where interventions for runners in favour of a “healthy” city environment could be intended.

We gather data about the underlying motives of runners by a series of surveys where runners are questioned on environmental and personal drivers that determine the preferred running route. These motives support a better understanding of the found running behaviour results. Besides, we realize a field study to find out in more detail the supportive and obstructive objects on the most and least intensive used routes.

We will continue our study by defining spatial requirements that runners have at different locations. These spatial requirements will be input for the spatial planning and design interventions that could make Amsterdam a healthy urban environment, starting by providing a more runner friendly city.