Safer traffic and dry feet in Arnhem

How do you analyse a dangerous roundabout and control the impact of extreme rainfall? These are two challenges faced by the City of Arnhem, where it chose to carry out an experiment with experience technology created by Geomagine.

The Oude Zevenaarseweg is a major access road into Arnhem and has one of the most dangerous roundabouts in the Netherlands – a situation that calls for action. ‘Not just the roundabout, but the road as a whole needed to be prepared for the future,’ says Edwin Fennema of Geodan Go, the company that installs Geomagine for local councils.

‘If you want to make improvements, you first need to identify the problem. A virtual version of the roundabout enabled us to switch the sightlines of various road users on and off. This quickly revealed the lines of sight for cyclists, motorists or lorry drivers on the roundabout. You could also sit next to the different drivers and experience it for yourself.’

The ability to experience the current roundabout and exploring the four future scenarios together in 360° 3D turned out to be an ideal way to analyse the existing situation. Fennema: ‘As well as an important step towards reducing accidents and improving traffic flow in Arnhem.’

Bringing data to life

The ‘basic facilities of the virtual town’ is a fully data-driven canvas. ‘It’s perfect for allowing you to experience a specific section of the town and exploring the main future issues and scenarios together,’ Fennema says. Safety, mobility and the public-housing challenges? We have found that a growing number of cities and towns are curious to find out how they can use Geomagine’s experience technology and, like the City of Arnhem, get started with it themselves.

Increasing awareness

Like other cities across the Netherlands, Arnhem has been faced with flooding as a result of increasingly extreme rainfall. Fennema: ‘In order to increase awareness of this issue, we checked out Fazantenstraat to see what happens after one of those downpours. We used the Geomagine technology to display the street in 3D and linked it to an existing scientific water-processing model.’

In Fazantenstraat...

The next step was to open the virtual floodgates and press the stopwatch. ‘This allowed us to see and experience exactly how much water the street sewer lines could handle per minute, and how long it would take for your feet to get wet,’ Fennema says. The experience ended up opening Arnhem’s eyes. ‘It’s an effective way to get the City to give this issue priority, so we definitely plan on continuing it,’ says Alex Kramer, Senior Advisor on Information Management for the City of Arnhem.’


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