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The Tai O Village Pedestrian Traffic Monitoring Project



The project is a collaborative initiative to collect pedestrian traffic flow data in Tai O Village, Hong Kong. Tai O Village was recently included in the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint of Hong Kong, a strategy document that designates Tai O as an ecological and cultural tourism center. Anticipating increased tourism visitor traffic and noting substantial current surges in tourist traffic, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University partnered with the Tai O Village Rural Committee and various community groups to monitor pedestrian traffic into the Village using infrared passage gates installed in eight major infrastructure connections. The project is distinct in that it follows a collaborative model using inexpensive technology developed from consumer products to roll out data collection quickly and with high accessibility for Village stakeholder engagement and feedback.


This project is influential because of its collaborative model, accessible and open-source technology, and low material and time cost. It has made a difference thus far by using data to visualize tourist visitation traffic flows into Tai O Village and providing this data to Village stakeholders. The project is influential in that its collaborative model allows local stakeholders and administrators to feed back to researchers and designers during rollout of the project, serving as a Smart City proof of concept and engagement tool. Data collected by the technology is highly visible to people in the monitoring area and can inform local decision-making in real time. This is possible in part because the technology is based on consumer monitoring products adapted using open-source 3D printing technology. Researchers 3D printed enclosures that make off-the-shelf electronic gates easier to align in the field, attachable through non-marking and non-destructive means, weatherproof, tamper resistant, and also add an on-site data and information display. As a result, a project initiated and installed over less than 5 months has already made a difference by engaging stakeholders in Tai O Village, providing data to clearly visualize tourist visitor traffic surges.



 2021 Smart 50 Award


Smart 50 Awards, in partnership with Smart Cities Connect, Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite, annually recognize global smart cities projects, honoring the most innovative and influential work.


Daniel Keith Elkin, Spatial Agency Research and Practice

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