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Off to a flying start: the first SmartStreetSensor Partner Forum

27 January 2017 by Sarah Phillips

The SmartStreetSensor project is a groundbreaking footfall study that was launched by LDC and UCL last year. Since the birth of the project, we've had leading retailers, BIDs and local councils come on board and the project has gone from strength to strength.

To celebrate how far the project has come, and to update our partners on the next exciting phase of the project, we held a SmartStreetSensor Partner Forum on Thursday 26th January. We were thrilled with the number of attendees who came to the event, which was held at the UCL campus in London. The morning comprised of an update from Matthew Hopkinson, Director at LDC, who spoke about the roll-out of devices so far, including the challenges we have overcome, and the milestones we have celebrated.

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 12.46.51.png         Number of footfall devices installed from July 2015 - Jan 2017 (Source LDC)

Professor Paul Longley, Head of the Consumer Data Research Centre (CRDC) and Professor of Geographic Information Science at UCL, then talked about geodemographics, patterns in the data, how the data is validated, device fingerprinting and other areas of the academic side of the project that him and his team have been working on.

Following Paul's update, Ivana Mogin, Technology Director at LDC gave the audience an update on the calibration of the devices and the journey that our technical team have been on (and continue to be on). She spoke about the need for the data to be intuitive, visual and protected. Ivana then gave a live demo of our new footfall dashboard.

Chris Fowler, Relationship Manger at LDC then gave a run down on footfall over the festive period, including what seasonal activities influenced footfall patterns, for example; celebrities turning on lights, Christmas markets and when payday falls. Chris took the crowd through a few case studies to show the type of insight that can be taken using footfall data alongside other indicies and metrics.

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 12.54.29.pngFootfall in two main shopping streets in Sheffield with differing vacancy rates (Source LDC)

Chris then introduced Sharon Baldwin from Orpington 1st BID who gave the audience a first hand account of how they are using data to track how the changes in Orpington are affecting footfall, including changes in internet penetration, new developments being built and changes to public transport services, which all have the potential to impact the success of the town centre.

Finally, the delegates stayed on to take part in a workshop, answering questions from LDC and debating topics in groups. This was a key part of the day for LDC, collecting honest and constructive feedback, which we will use to shape the future of the project. 

SmartStreetSensor workshop pic.jpgPartners during the footfall workshop session 

We learnt a huge amount from this event, not only about the needs and wants of our partners, but also about how passionate and committed they are to this project. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of you that came, and to Sharon from Orpington 1st BID for speaking. We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did.

To find out more about the SmartStreetSensor Project click here, or email the team at to find out how you can get involved in the UK's most comprehensive footfall study to date.

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