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Traffic Attractors and Congestion in the Urban Context, the Case of the City of Rome

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: Traffic flows form a complex system, especially in the context of urban sprawl. Direct estimation of traffic flows requires significant efforts and knowing in advance where to focus the study and where to place tools to directly measure traffic flows, and consequently traffic congestion could lead to significant savings in time and money. In the case of Rome municipality, we have monitored a situation in which a very high rate of urban fragmentation has occurred in the last 30 years, making the direct estimation of traffic difficult. The work described here can help to solve the problem of estimating traffic flows and in particular the congestion phenomenon through a very cheap approach by using remote sensing and geographical information system technology. This method is based on the identification of attractor points that draw traffic flows such as malls, schools, offices, shops, etc. that is to say, points in a territory that attract a certain number of people with vehicles (estimated with a scale) in specific periods of the day. The identification of those points and the calculation of the urban density through the satellite image processing have allowed the creation of a congestion map for the study area. Then the road network and the buildings have been classified according to the congestion values. The results highlight the most critical and congested areas that affect the traffic flows and impact the quality of life.

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