What is it about?

We characterize the dynamics of runners in the famous “Running of the Bulls” Festival by computing the individual and global velocities and densities, as well as the crowd pressure. In con- trast with all previously studied pedestrian systems, we unveil a unique regime in which speed increases with density that can be understood in terms of a time-dependent desired velocity of the runners. Also, we discover the existence of an inaccessible region in the speed–density state diagram that is explained by falls of runners. With all these ingredients, we propose a generalization of the pedestrian fundamental diagram for a scenario in which people with different desired speeds coexist.

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Why is it important?

A topic of special interest in crowd dynamics that can lead to better infrastructure management is the study of people under high competitiveness. Persons fleeing from real danger is one instance of this scenario, but of course it is difficult to analyze it experimentally. This is why people running with bulls at the San Fermín Festival provides an exceptional annual event where real data of pedestrian dynamics under extreme conditions can be collected. This kind of data is scarce and therefore highly valuable.

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This page is a summary of: Pedestrian dynamics at the running of the bulls evidence an inaccessible region in the fundamental diagram, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2107827118.
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