Erstellt: 15. Februar 2021

PhD defense on Form-Activity-Movement Interaction Model by Martin Bielik

Join the online disputation of Martin Bielik who presents his work on modeling the interaction between activity allocation, pedestrian movement and configuration of urban form.

The dissertation can be accessed from:


The presentation take place online on 22.03.2021 at 14:00 in the following Moodle room:

Dissertation title:


Study of the Interactions between Urban Form, Allocation of Activities and Pedestrian Movement in Weimar, Germany

Committee Chair:
Prof. Dr. Bernd Nentwig,  Bauhuas-Universität Weimar

Committee Member:
Prof. Dr. Uwe Plank-Wiedenbeck, , Bauhuas-Universität Weimar

Reviewers & Committee Member:
Vertr.-Prof. Dr. Sven Schneider, Bauhuas-Universität Weimar
Prof. Dr. Pirouz Nourian, TU Delft



This dissertation investigates the interactions between urban form, allocation of activities, and pedestrian movement in the context of urban planning. The ability to assess the long-term impact of urban planning decisions on what people do and how they get there is of central importance, with various disciplines addressing this topic. This study focuses on approaches proposed by urban morphologists, urban economists, and transportation planners, each aiming the attention at a different part of the form-activity-movement interaction. Even though there is no doubt about the advantages of these highly focused approaches, it remains unclear what is the cost of ignoring the effect of some interactions while considering others. The general aim of this dissertation is to empirically test the validity of the individual models and quantify the impact of this isolationist approach on their precision and bias.

For this purpose, we propose a joined form-activity-movement interaction model and conduct an empirical study in Weimar, Germany. We estimate how the urban form and activities affect movement as well as how movement and urban form affect activities. By estimating these effects in isolation and simultaneously, we assess the bias of the individual models.

On the one hand, the empirical study results confirm the significance of all interactions suggested by the individual models. On the other hand, we were able to show that when these interactions are estimated in isolation, the resulting predictions are biased. To conclude, we do not question the knowledge brought by transportation planners, urban morphologists, and urban economists. However, we argue that it might be of little use on its own.

We see the relevance of this study as being twofold. On the one hand, we proposed a novel methodological framework for the simultaneous estimation of the form-activity-movement interactions. On the other hand, we provide empirical evidence about the strengths and limitations of current approaches.