To best answer to these questions, the team working on the study, in accordance with municipalities’ technicians, first divided the city in 17 areas, separating, for example, predominantly residential areas from industrial or offices areas.
The study observes the incoming and outgoing daily movements, as well as the internal fluxes of city-users from one area to another. To better understand the dynamics of these movements, the city-users have been categorized in four groups, that can be also filtered by age and gender:
The analysis has been carried out comparing data from four different weeks in four months in 2021, with the same four weeks in 2019 or 2020,1 depending on the availability of data (for regulatory issues the communication company cannot provide data collected more than a certain number of months before), specifically:
- End July early August (2021 compared with the same week in 2019).
- September, start of the schools.
- October, during attractive events occurring in town.
- November, business as usual, without extra or peculiar activities or peaks of flows.
In this way it was possible to have a comparison with a pre-covid (2019) and a post-lockdown restart picture (2021).
Moreover, data has also been clustered by time slots, thus allowing to focus the analysis on the most relevant travel peaks:
- From 6 to 10 a.m. – moment of access to work or to educational facilities.
- From 5 p.m. – moment in which the majority of employees leaves the working space.
- From 6 to 9 p.m. – time slot in which usually the population moves towards evening entertainment events.
Therefore, the analysis of commuting practices keeps into consideration basically three components: ORIGIN – DESTINATION – TIME OF PERMANENCE
In some cases, it was also possible to distinguish between train journeys and journeys made using other means of transportation. This was possible because the platform registered the railway pathways and therefore is able to detect the transition between different stations.
On the basis of these elements, and of the categories of city-users identified, it was possible to provide precise answers to the above-mentioned questions.
1. The partner in charge of the activity, that is S.I.PRO. Ferrara Development Agency, had to postpone the start of the study by a year compared to the original timetable due to the Covid-19 pandemic that had a relevant impact on the commuting patterns. Nevertheless, this allowed for the comparison between a pre-pandemic and a post-pandemic situation.