Using outdoor people counting to support Okazaki’s walkable city center concept

Prospect of future use for multiple applications as a “Smart City Model Project”

“We have been able to acquire data at the same precision outside as we do inside, which is satisfying. By implementing people counting, we have been able to quantitatively measure the results of urban planning on public investment. We are utilizing this as part of a more advanced approach to urban planning, such as by presenting this data in our conversations with private-sector businesses to interest more people in investing in this district.” Masayuki Suzuki, Policy Planning Division, General Policy Department, Okazaki City Hall.

Mission

Okazaki City is known as the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu, as well as for its long history and the beauty of its natural environment. The promotion of a walkable city center, predicated on being able to move around the city on foot to enjoy its abundant resources, is an important element of its urban planning. This led to the initiation of a project to understand changes in people flows, and furthermore to establish how to incentivize behavior to change people flows. Previously there had been almost no examples of camera-based people counting being used outdoors, and in order to be able to guarantee the accuracy of the footage at night and in other conditions, a trial project was needed.

Solution

First, four AXIS Q1615 Mk II Network Cameras were installed at each exit of Higashi-Okazaki railway station, and people counting commenced using the FieldAnalyst application from NEC Solution Innovators, Ltd. In the shopping district, AXIS Q3518 fixed dome cameras were used to enable the provision of images to support more accurate analysis, and these are equipped with multiview streaming to allow them to be used for crime prevention in the future. For the footbridge, it was necessary to place one camera at each end of the bridge in order to get an accurate picture of pedestrian traffic, and the installation of AXIS P5655-E PTZ cameras made it possible to obtain precise counts of pedestrians, even at a distance and at night.

Result

The 21 cameras installed around the station, in the shopping district, along the pedestrian path and on the footbridge, provided a foundation for obtaining data on people counts for the major locations within the city center. During periods when people were being asked to refrain from going out due to the coronavirus crisis, the data obtained was utilized to understand the results of self-restraint in going out, and at the city hall it led to many employees coming to the office later in the day so as to distribute working hours. Going forward, the plan for the cameras is to used not only for people counting, but also for multiple other applications such as monitoring and crime prevention.

Related links

AXIS P5655-E PTZ Network Camera
AXIS P3245-LVE Network Cameras
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