Posted by Shrikant Sharma

Loosening your belt to cure obesity?

Widening corridors to solve congestion problems is like loosening your belt to cure obesity!

An easy solution is not always the right solution. Take for example this secondary school in UK which had significant congestion problems. The easy solution would have been expensive, disruptive, and practically impossible for a new school that had already spent millions into building it – only to find that the layouts, corridor capacities, doors and waiting spaces in front of the class rooms weren’t optimised for smooth running of the school.

An interesting, much more effective, and counter-intuitive solution was to remove the school bells. Now our experience into the movements of students within a school gave us insights into what triggers congestion, and we were able to simulate this using SmartMove and test the effectiveness.

A trial followed, and predictably, the school never went back to using the bell. The scenario didn’t just practically remove congestion, it also created a much better and calmer learning environment.

It was a great experience and we learnt a great deal about the student behaviour, much of which has gone into a number of subsequent designs of many schools and other learning spaces ever since.

Check out the simulation and real videos of the before and after scenarios below…


School with bell (Before)


School without bell (After)


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