Belgium: SPIE and Technolution Move help to measure visitor numbers on Ghent’s shopping streets
Brussels, 22 February 2022 – SPIE Belgium, the Belgian subsidiary of the SPIE Group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has joined forces with Technolution Move, a Dutch company specialising in traffic management, to give the city of Ghent an overview of the flow of people within the city centre.
SPIE Belgium and Technolution Move are working together on VLOED, a joint pilot project being conducted by the municipalities of Bruges and Ghent. A first initiative has already been launched, which involved installing smart sensors to measure visitor numbers on two shopping streets in Ghent: Veldstraat and Korenmarkt. Technolution Move’s FlowCube smart traffic sensors count the number of passers-by and determine where they have come from and where they are heading within the city centre.
Ghent city centre is very popular with tourists and residents alike. As a result, the shopping streets are sometimes very busy. Information regarding current and anticipated visitor numbers brings many advantages for traders within the HoReCa sector, as well as for entrepreneurs, investors, public services and visitors. For example, city services use this information to deploy their personnel, promote public transport and tourist attractions and attract investment.
Technolution Move’s FlowCube is an important source of data. The traffic sensor not only detects cyclists and pedestrians, but also buses and trams, and determines where they have come from and where they are heading within the city centre. A central platform collects, combines and analyses all the available data sources to reveal the current traffic situation. In addition, it uses artificial intelligence and data science to predict future visitor numbers. The FlowCube is also used to evaluate the accuracy and relevance of the predictions made. All configurations are of course privacy compliant : sensors do not collect any information about people. The city of Ghent is only interested in information related to the flow of passers-by.
Luc Blockx, Commercial Development Director at SPIE Belgium, explains: “This project aims to create a functional dashboard showing traffic predictions that can be used by local traders and public services, and we are thrilled to be involved. The city of the future is a city driven by technology that is both safe and dynamic, a smart city where technology helps to resolve social challenges. The Infrastructure Division has the required knowledge and expertise and can count on specialised teams to complete projects such as these.”
Henk den Breejen, Senior Business Developer at Technolution Move, adds: “We are pleased to be able to contribute to redesigning mobility in Ghent’s magnificent city centre, thanks to our experience and our smart sensor, the FlowCube. Our understanding of the sector allows us to predict, anticipate and regulate traffic and take action if necessary. Technolution Move is a long-standing actor in inner-city mobility around the world.”
 This is the acronym used for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector.