People Counting

Claremont's Pop-Up Festival Makes Spaghetti Fruit Loops From Soufflé

I haven't re-compensated the latter graph in each of these profiles.

But I suspect that Thursday the 27th's (March) Pop-Up Festival is what's giving us such green mountains, here.

We have two counters in Claremont, installed with the co-operation of Stephen Goode, Brian Kavanagh and Ashley Edwards at the Town of Claremont. These counters provide 24/7 data of who's using Claremont's town centre.

Claremont Now are a Town of Claremont and business community management body, providing precinct marketing: place management, I'd like to call it.

Of course, one of these functions is the accurate counting of shoppers, customers or even normal people all day, every day.

The counting equipment is non-invasive and definitely doesn't record any personal information. You just appear as a blob on the screen; so does your dog, actually, because my counters only read body heat.

I have been asked to provide quotes for a state government project using WiFi-pinging.

That is where we invade your mobile phone. That's nearly illegal in some countries so I don't do that.



Spaghetti western, alphabetti, fruit loop style. This is the prettiest graph we make.

What we do is we take all the bits and bobs - bytes and bits - that the counters produce and extrapolate them into every hour of the month - so that's about ... lots (OK, adding up here ... 24 X 31 = (310 + 310 + [4 x 31 = 124]) = 620, 744 hours).

744 hours.

We then allocate each block of twenty-four hours to its day of the week and, hey presto, we get the average hourly trend for each day of the week.

Just to play: this chart is the first one we did for you, in Claremont; Empire Furniture (is the location), 12 Bay View Terrace.

(Call out to David Johns and the team there - they let us store our little internet box onsite there).

This is July 2013 and isn't it beautiful?


Today, nine months later, this is what we see. Very different, yet very similar.

That incredible purple peak (Fridays 12 - 1pm) has obediently risen, in shape, like a soufflé.

Everything else has retained it's reasonable form. Thursdays, though, have experienced an after 5 jump (and this may just be due to the Pop-up Festival. We'll come back next month to see - right?).


But let's cross the street to the Claremont Quarter Shopping Centre.

On the ouside of the centre near Mecca Cosmetica we installed a second counter (again, with the kind help of the Claremont business community in the form of Darren Fletcher, Sean Duffin and Hawaiian, the friendly property group).

Here the foot traffic profile is very different. Less people overall (to Empire's counter) but a real wild Sunday.

Again we see that green mountain.


Above: The first month of counting for us, September 2013.

Below: The most recent month: March 2014



A Place Management First

If you are a Victoria Park person - or even if you're not - this may interest you.

We (me and the Town of Victoria Park) have been thermal-counting people since July 2013.

We've been counting in Albany Highway, East Victoria Park (near Baskin Robbins).

And Albany Highway, Victoria Park (at Kabuki Japanese Restaurant).

These remarkable devices read body heat from people passing below them.

All that data is sent to me via the internet, and I translate it into data visualisations.

You can enjoy these in the formal reporting I provide each month.

There's no secrets; these are to be retweeted, Facebooked, argued about and emailed around town.

The intent is to monitor footfall over time (is it rising or falling?).

That's important.

Secondly, this data arrests the reader who's looking for a community to express themselves in - hopefully as an interesting social entrepreneur with retail on their mind.

Bring them in.

We don't want vacant shops. We want really great social entrepreneurs filling them up and creating a vibrant economy.

Go on and get your report here - and tweet it, Facebook it and share it with your neighbours.

Click below for Vic Park or East Vic Park.

Vic Park

East Vic Park


Embarrassing Amount Of Famousness And Genius

I'm only posting this to inform you, esteemed reader, of updates in the day of A Beautiful City.

Called in as a last minute expert for Jamie Oliver, I appeared in Australia's Sunday Times (Perth) to comment on the transformation of William Street due to Jamie's Italian restaurant now there.

This was really embarrassing because it means I now have to humble-brag everywhere I go.

Here's some of the content I gave to Gail Williams, the reporter:


"Because Jamie Oliver represents divinity in food design, deserving local product is brought to nose-to-nose with the enormous design economy that Jamie Oliver represents - such as the artwork of Kyle Hughes-Odgers, which is in the restaurant and the surrounding precinct."

"Jamie's Italian contributes to the after 5 foot traffic profile in William Street." 

"The City of Perth Economic Development Strategy 2010-2019 has an outcome of '15% growth in foot traffic in William Street from 2009-2014, to 7,894 people per summer weekday' (page 11)." 

"We measure foot traffic in 9 Perth locations (not William Street), but can confirm that this footfall target appears to have been met"


How do I really feel about it?

I've never eaten at Jamies Italian - never eaten at Italian restaurants at all*

I can cook tomatos - I can't roll sushi.

The best thing about William Street design is not the retailers at the moment, it's the shopfronts and pedestrian realm.

Jamie's could well have been an independent restaurant, which would have been better.

And the steel chairs out the front are not good. Go wood. Steel is cold on your appendix.

We don't have to pretend that super-tenants revitalise our streets.

But without their cash, landlords cannot proceed, usually.

Unfortunately, Jamie's does not get a good reviews on Urbanspoon, hence my sour ending.  Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

You could say the people are disappointed.

*Except for Capri - but you go there to see a Nonna in her slippers.

Below: An example of an after-5 peak in foot-traffic.

Average hourly footfall for each day of the week in Albany Highway, East Victoria Park, Australia.



An Analysis Of Foot Traffic In Bay View Terrace, Claremont, For February 2014

Foot traffic in Bay View Terrace has been recorded since July 2013.

Two counters provide different profiles. One is at Empire Furniture. The second is across the road, at Mecca Cosmetica.

Above: The first people counter being installed in July 2013. Empire Furniture, next to Claremont News.

Below: This is where the second people counter is installed: Mecca Cosmetica.

The month of February looked like this for both locations, with totals of 97,364 at Empire Furniture and 79,731 at Mecca Cosmetica for the month:


Empire Furniture: The greatest footfall was 4,371 people on Thursday 13th and the lowest: 1,755 on Sunday the 9th.

Mecca Cosmetica: The greatest footfall was 3,733 people on Thursday 27th and the lowest: 2,204 on Sunday the 2nd. 


Empire Furniture: The busiest day is Friday with a long-term average of 4,000 people per day.

Mecca Cosmetica: The busiest day is Thursday with  a long-term average of 3,820 people per day. 

If you would like to access the full reports, please click below:

Claremont People Counting Report - February 2014 - Bay View Terrace 1 - Empire Furniture

Claremont People Counting Report - February 2014 - Bay View Terrace 2 - Mecca Cosmetica

An Analysis Of Hourly Footfall Trends In January 2014, In Fremantle

An analysis of hourly footfall trends in January 2014 across Fremantle's four counters.

It shows different volumes (line heights) and hourly changes throughout the day (the shape of the lumps).

Each line represents a different counter. The blue one is the biggest and busiest - South Terrace (averages about 345,000 people per month, so far).


*           *           *

Below shows us the average daily footfall for for the last four months, for each counter.

Remember: The counters count 24/7, 365.

South Terrace had a moody January. Why? January: people away for holidays. South Terrace is more a leisure-area.

High Street West End is University Street. Notre Dame students affect the footfall at this location. The variations after October are affected by university holidays.

Market Street and Adelaide Street have the most reliable January. Market Street is used by Train Station customers, and Adelaide Street is in the middle of the banking and bustop areas.

Adelaide Street had the most impressive response to December.

The daily footfall in Adelaide Street is remarkably favourable to the retailer's clock - it rises and falls with the opening hours of general retail. See below:

Average hourly footfall in Adelaide Street Fremantle as seen across the seven days of the week 

To see what I mean, look at this one, in East Victoria Park's mainstreet.

This is Adelaide Street.

Thank you. 

Well, That Went Well

That went well. All of November's people counting reports are tucked away warmly in their client's desks.

And I will do that again. I will blog about charts as I create them.

In the meantime, I've begun a summary-chart, comparing all counters in my network - a League Table, if you like.

Below: People counting totals in Perth for the month of November, 2013

There's Been a Major Disturbance in The Force

Ewww..! There's been a major disturbance in the force at East Vic Park.

Just look at this chart. Look at it!

I don't have time for this! What I like is predictable and even behaviour.

Look at Sunday, 24 November. Why on heck was there 4,008 pedestrian movements?

This is way above the average for all other Sundays. Why? What's going on there? Was there a fault with my equipment?

Look at the whole month again, scrambled so the footfall of each day of the week is bundled together:

This is 101% more than the usual Sunday average of 1,991.

But don't worry, I think I've worked it out. This counter is too close to Baskin Robbins, an ice-cream shop. As our Summer bleeds-in, we are getting huge, Sunday, ice-cream traffic. Problem? No.

Yes. We need counters that are representative of the community-activity good for all businesses in the street. Solution? This counter could be re-located further toward the centre of the precinct where specialised business aren't dictating the trends for the whole counter.

By why should we? It's not Baskin Robbins fault they provide a delicious pick-me-up to so many people. And this data is representative of people on the street. So deal with it.

In fact, I think this huge, fat Sunday is representative of a change we won't see at our other counters - and that is because of ice-cream, because of Baskin Robbins, and because of what they can attract.

We will see foot traffic heft upwards here.

The stinking heat at other locations is keeping foot traffic stable, despite the 'holiday season', merry weather and all that.

So, let's look and see, shall we? 

Another Reason Why I'm Completely Wrong. Probably.

Here's a juicy chart from our East Victoria Park counter at Blockbuster Video (installed with the Town of Victoria Park in July 2013).

I love it. It's sweet. It's really peculiar, I'd say, that two subsequent months have nearly identical counting numbers, 57410 and 57401 (October and November).

But I'm wrong.

The foot traffic is not the same at all.

You see, November had one less day than October.

Come on, check out our Daily Average chart for a better comparison.

There's been a lift in footfall from October to November - the daily average footfall has risen 3.29%. That's 61 extra people per day, on average.

The Daily Average. Stick to it - because it is a simple and accurate record of community and customer activity.

Here we go ...

Pretty good this month - about two and half hours work to create December's pedestrian data template.

Each month, we create an Excel spreadsheet with customised fields, becasue each month is different: the days each date fall on, the amount of Sundays this month is different to last ... things like that.

All this data is extracted manually from our people-counting portal, a sort of live-graph view of all our people counters that our clients get to see (and I'm going to get that to you, soon, so watch out).

A Beautiful City's Live View People Counting Portal

Below: An A Beautiful City, Excel, People-Counting Template

It's Now December

It's now December, and we beaver around ponds of pedestrian data for November and publish it.

This month is different.

Since July we've been doing this, and each time it's a private excitement which I'm no longer going to hide! So I am writing mini-articles as I go (it might take three days to collate and publish all our reports) which publish my insights (into whatever) as we go.

I recent had a look at the statistics for this site and realised we have quite a chunky number of readers. Instantly that strangled me. I want to maintain relevance and quality whilst being un-boring.

So you have to tell me how I go. OK?

Tracer Mk3 at St George Bank, 21 Adelaide Street, Fremantle, Australia

The Fremantle Business Improvement District Co. Ltd - A Beautiful City's Newest Client

I can now reveal that our latest client is the Fremantle Business Improvement District Co. Ltd - a not-for-profit business district management company with funding of about $1.7million over five years.  Juicy.

Just like all clever people, the Fremantle BID has a place-based focus to local economic vibrancy, community particpation and all those yummy synonyms of a beautiful city.

The BID has a business plan and is accountable to the commercial property and businesses owners within the Fremantle-CBD boundary.

Funding has come directly from the local council rates levied within the BID area - a differential rate, it's called, which is an extra tax on top of the normal council rates. This goes straight to the BID. They have their own employees and their own offices (just like a shopping centre management company) and they co-opt with their members (the aforementioned differential rate payers) to affect business improvement within their district.

I am thrilled to announce that they have chosen us to provide their people counting services within the city.  We have started counting in four locations; some of the numbers are really off the scale and I look forward to analysing them shortly for all their juicy insights.


Above: We are counting on South Terrace, Adelaide Street, Market Street and High Street - four really interesting retail streets with fascinating histories - and futures, I'm sure.

I would like to thank the following people who participated in this project:

Chloe Coombe -  Administration and Project Coordinator, Fremantle BID

Kim Low - Executive Manager, Fremantle BID

Cameron Bartkowski - City of Fremantle

Sharon Atkinson - City of Fremantle

Tom Griffiths - City of Fremantle

Peter Kanganas - Landlord, 55 Market Street

Richard Poulson - Morrison International

Kylie-Jane Radford - Morrison International

Peta - Morrison Fremantle

Daniel - Hush Espresso

Bill May - Landlord, 28 Adelaide Street

Tony Chapman - Landlord, 34 Adelaide Street

Nicole - Valleygirl Fremantle

Gerard McGann - Landlord, 93 High Street

Moti - Clara True Beauty

Rebecca - Clara True Beauty

David Wallace and The Gub Gub Family - Landlords, 52 South Terrace

David Heaton - Metropolis Fremantle

Vince Recupero - Metropolis Fremantle

The staff at Metropolis Fremantle

John and family- Fremantle Bakehouse

Alan De Souza - Fremantle Bakehouse

This is A World First, Probably

We have just released our first comprehensive local district pedestrian counting report.

And you can have a copy.

Make sure you're subscribed to A Beautiful City (put your email in - over there on the right).

And like us on Facebook, too.

And click all the other things on the right and like, share and ... whatever.

Then let me know and I'll email you it ... for free (

But first, a taste ...

Above: Each day of the week measured, averaged and compared - growth from July to August 2013 - for the local district of Claremont, Western Australia - one of the country's top-ten retail areas by rental cost.


Town of Claremont A Beautiful City's newest client

I (we) are pleased to announce that Stephen Goode, Brian Kavanagh, Ashley Edwards and the team at the Town of Claremont have engaged A Beautiful City to provide their people counting services.

The Town of Claremont's main drag is Bay View Terrace which is a beautiful row of about 50 retail shops.

Did you know that retail rents in Bay View Terrace are among the highest in the country?

We will be installing two pedestrian counters in Bay View Terrace.

In fact, the first one is already in.  With the cooperation of David Johns, Megan and Caroline at Empire Homewares, plus the landlords - the Deveroux family - we have been counting people at their location since Friday 12 July this year.

Our second counter will be installed shortly and I will update you soon.

Below: Our people counter installation at Empire Homewares, 12 Bay View Terrace, Claremont, Australia, plus: Super-Chubbs fraternising with the locals at Claremont News.

A Beautiful City in the news

It's great!  I was interviewed by Rosanna Candler of the Western Suburbs Weekly last week and the results are now published for all to see ...

  • Our first people counter, installed for David Maxwell of the Subiaco Retailers Association, is creating curiosity and that's good for A Beautiful City and me but it's also good for the community.
  • Our people-counting services were born in order to 'save' what we call traditional high streets.
  • They provide a critical measure, just like what every shopping centre depends upon, for community vitality, attracting and retaining new businesses, marketing and 'taking the tempertaure' on the health of your high street.

There's so much more to say about that.  That chat happens at your dinner tables, espresso bars and local news everywhere.

In the meantime, listen to Rosanna Candler by reading her article here.

Mainstreet Rejuventation Through Innnovative Management

I am proud to say I have been working with Arthur Kyron and Ben Rose of the Town of Victoria Park in their programs to rejuventate their mainstreets.

A Beautiful City people counting systems are now in East Victoria Park and Victoria Park - two locations penetrated by the enormous and fantastic Albany Highway mainstreet.

The below quote is supplied by the town's Strategic Projects Consultant, Mr Ben Rose:

"How do you measure the health of a mainstreet?  Vibrancy and activity are often used as subjective measures, but how do we put objectivity and robust conclusions into those often subjective observations?

Physically counting the number of people using the space, at any given point in time, and over time, gives us (the mainstreet administrators) the best available information for making important decisions relating to the mainstreet.

Are visitation rates up, are they down, how do they compare to this time last year, what are the annual trends like, what is the busiest day of the week, busiest hour of the day?.....all of these questions can be answered through people counting.  The Town of Victoria Park invested in two people counters in 2012-13 and will be looking to extend its network of data-gathering with more units in 2013-14, thereby enabling better informed decisions for the continued revjuvenation and activation of the Albany Highway mainstreet."

Below: Another stunning piece of public art improving the town centre of East Victoria Park.

For more information on A Beautiful City's people counting system for mainstreets, please visit our people counting page or our people counting articles.

Hello Everyone

Hello everyone.

I / we have been busy lately, hence the lack of posts.  We have been installing and configuring people counters for the Town of Victoria Park.

It's very exciting to breath life into technology.

As the people counters are configured we can see the foot traffic statistics right before our eyes.  If something's not quite right, we can adjust the counter in real time to see an improvement in accuracy.

Fundamentally though, this assists us in managing our precinct.  We have real information which gives us new questions, and we don't ever have to waste time on guesswork.

After this, we're off to Claremont to install people counting systems for their precinct.

Sleepless A Beautiful City Counts People to Go to Sleep

I can't help myself.

When I've had a surplus of sleep and I'm awake at 3am and ready to go, I don't go to the beach or do a workout.

I drive to our business districts, taking people-counter measurements and photos, and admiring our economies whilst they're asleep.

This is what your mainstreets looked like at 4am.

Below: Mimco, 673 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley

Below: The Daily Planet, 634 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley

Below: Street cleaning at the The Northbridge Arch, corner of James and Lake Street, Northbridge

Below: Catholic Church, and the Central Institute of Technology Arts Building, with mural, at 12 Aberdeen Street, Northbrdge

Below: Our famous cockatoos, corner of Newcastle and William Streets, Northbridge

Below: The Good Store, 363 Albany Highway, Victoria Park

Below: Saffi Belle, 28 Market Street, Fremantle.  Seen in an A Beautiful City design blog.

Below: Remedy and Clara, 95 High Street, Fremantle

Retail Vacancy Rates in Our Town Centres

Yesterday was a day of shopfront measurement for people-counter installations.

Bay View Terrace Claremont, Albany Highway in East Victoria Park, King Street Perth and Rokeby Road Subiaco were all streets which got a visit from A Beautiful City.

How unusual, but delightful, to run into an old friend recording vacancy rates in Rokeby Road.

Colin and I passionately talked about retail, business district management and local government, and we then went our own ways.

Above: Colin Nichol recording vacancy rates in our High Streets - at Bella Hart Beauty Emporium, 151 Rokeby Road, Subiaco Australia

A Beautiful City's People-Counting Staff Grows!

We are pleased to introduce Super-Chubbs to you as the newest member of our team.

Super Chubbs will be taking responsibility of media and client liaison, so feel free to invite him out for a coffee to introduce yourself.

Thank you - and welcome, Super-Chubbs!